Translation:Laelius on Friendship

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Laelius on friendship  (44 BCE) 
by Marcus Tullius Cicero, translated from Latin by Wikisource

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1[edit]

Latin English
Q. Mucius augur multa narrare de C. Laelio socero suo memoriter et iucunde solebat nec dubitare illum in omni sermone appellare sapientem; ego autem a patre ita eram deductus ad Scaevolam sumpta virili toga, ut, quoad possem et liceret, a senis latere numquam discederem; itaque multa ab eo prudenter disputata, multa etiam breviter et commode dicta memoriae mandabam fierique studebam eius prudentia doctior. Quo mortuo me ad pontificem Scaevolam contuli, quem unum nostrae civitatis et ingenio et iustitia praestantissimum audeo dicere. Sed de hoc alias; nunc redeo ad augurem. Quintus Mucius Augur[1] used to tell stories about Gaius Laelius,[2] his father-in-law memorably and fondly, and did not hesitate to call him a wise man in any speech; I myself was led off by my father to Scaevola[3] right after I took up the toga virilis,[4] with the idea being that I should, as far as I could and was allowed, never part from the old man's side; so I memorised the many cases thoughtfully arbitrated by him as well as his many succinct and fitting aphorisms and studied to become more learned through his expertise. When he died, I devoted myself to Scaevola Pontifex,[5] who I dare say was one of the most outstandingly talented and fair men of our community. But about him, another time; for now I return to Augur.

2[edit]

Latin English
Cum saepe multa, tum memini domi in hemicyclio sedentem, ut solebat, cum et ego essem una et pauci admodum familiares, in eum sermonem illum incidere qui tum forte multis erat in ore. Meministi enim profecto, Attice, et eo magis, quod P. Sulpicio utebare multum, cum is tribunus plebis capitali odio a Q. Pompeio, qui tum erat consul, dissideret, quocum coniunctissime et amantissime vixerat, quanta esset hominum vel admiratio vel querella. I remember, among many other things, one time he was sitting in a circle of chairs at his home, as he used to, when I and a very few of his friends were there, and a man came up in conversation who was then on everyone's lips. You will remember (particularly well, actually, Atticus,[6] because you were very close with Publius Sulpicius, when he was tribune of the plebs and developed a fatal emnity with Quintus Pompeius, who was consul at the time[7] and with whom he had previously lived with the greatest intimacy and love), how great was the astonishment? or grievance? amongst the people.

3[edit]

Latin English
Itaque tum Scaevola cum in eam ipsam mentionem incidisset, exposuit nobis sermonem Laeli de amicitia habitum ab illo secum et cum altero genero, C. Fannio Marci filio, paucis diebus post mortem Africani. Eius disputationis sententias memoriae mandavi, quas hoc libro exposui arbitratu meo; quasi enim ipsos induxi loquentes, ne 'inquam' et 'inquit' saepius interponeretur, atque ut tamquam a praesentibus coram haberi sermo videretur. So then Scaevola, when this had come up with this remark, repeated to us a conversation between Laelius, himself and Laelius' other son-in-law, Gaius Fannius (Marcus' son),[8] about friendship, a few days after the death of Africanus.[9] I committed to memory the points of his discussion, which I have repeated in this book in my own style; for I have presented them speaking, so as not to break it up with "I said" and "he said" and so that the conversation should seem to be held as if they were present in front of you.

4[edit]

Latin English
Cum enim saepe mecum ageres ut de amicitia scriberem aliquid, digna mihi res cum omnium cognitione tum nostra familiaritate visa est. Itaque feci non invitus ut prodessem multis rogatu tuo. Sed ut in Catone Maiore, qui est scriptus ad te de senectute, Catonem induxi senem disputantem, quia nulla videbatur aptior persona quae de illa aetate loqueretur quam eius qui et diutissime senex fuisset et in ipsa senectute praeter ceteros floruisset, sic cum accepissemus a patribus maxime memorabilem C. Laeli et P. Scipionis familiaritatem fuisse, idonea mihi Laeli persona visa est quae de amicitia ea ipsa dissereret quae disputata ab eo meminisset Scaevola. Genus autem hoc sermonum positum in hominum veterum auctoritate, et eorum inlustrium, plus nescio quo pacto videtur habere gravitatis; itaque ipse mea legens sic afficior interdum ut Catonem, non me, loqui existimem. For since you've often encouraged me to write something about friendship, it seemed appropriate for me to give it full thought, especially given our friendship. Thus I acted not unwillingly to benefit many people through your request. But, just as in Cato the Elder, which was written for you about old age, I presented Cato conversing as an old man because no character seemed more appropriate to talk about that time of life than him, since he was an old man for a very long time and had prospered more than anyone else in that old age, so, since the most memorable friendship we have heard about from our fathers is that of Gaius Laelius and Publius Scipio, the character of Laelius seemed to me suitible for examination of the concept of friendship itself, which Scaevola remembered him discussing. But this kind of speech, placed in the tones of ancient men, especially the distinguished ones, seems somehow to have more weight; thus even I, re-reading my work I am made to fancy Cato, not me, is speaking.

5[edit]

Latin English
Sed ut tum ad senem senex de senectute, sic hoc libro ad amicum amicissimus scripsi de amicitia. Tum est Cato locutus, quo erat nemo fere senior temporibus illis, nemo prudentior; nunc Laelius et sapiens (sic enim est habitus) et amicitiae gloria excellens de amicitia loquetur. Tu velim a me animum parumper avertas, Laelium loqui ipsum putes. Just as in that work, I wrote as an old man to an old man about old age, in this book I have written as a very dear friend to a friend about friendship. In that work, Cato spoke and probably there was no one older, no one more knowledgable than him in his time; now Laelius speaks about friendship, wisely (for that was how he was) and as a man who excelled in the glory of friendship. For a little while, I hope, you will ignore me and think that Laelius himself is talking.
C. Fannius et Q. Mucius ad socerum veniunt post mortem Africani; ab his sermo oritur, respondet Laelius, cuius tota disputatio est de amicitia, quam legens te ipse cognosces. Gaius Fannius and Quintus Mucius come to their father-in-law after the death of Africanus; the conversation is begun by them, Laelius responds, their whole discussion is about friendship, which you yourself will come to understand from reading it.

6[edit]

Latin English
FANNIUS: Sunt ista, Laeli; nec enim melior vir fuit Africano quisquam nec clarior. Sed existimare debes omnium oculos in te esse coniectos unum; te sapientem et appellant et existimant. Tribuebatur hoc modo M. Catoni; scimus L. Acilium apud patres nostros appellatum esse sapientem; sed uterque alio quodam modo, Acilius, quia prudens esse in iure civili putabatur, Cato, quia multarum rerum usum habebat; multa eius et in senatu et in foro vel provisa prudenter vel acta constanter vel responsa acute ferebantur; propterea quasi cognomen iam habebat in senectute sapientis. FANNIUS: How things are, Laelius! For there was no man better than Africanus, nor more famous. But you must feel like the eyes of everyone look to you as one; you whom they call and consider a wise man. This was bestowed only a little while ago to Marcus Cato; we know that among our fathers Lucius Acilius was called a wise man. But each of them in a slightly different way: Acilius because he was thought to be learned in civil law, Cato because he had experience of many things: His many acts in the Senate and in the forum were wisely foresighted, consistently carried out, or sharply said; probably because of this he had the nickname "Wise" in his old age.

7[edit]

Latin English
Te autem alio quodam modo non solum natura et moribus, verum etiam studio et doctrina esse sapientem, nec sicut vulgus, sed ut eruditi solent appellare sapientem, qualem in reliqua Graecia neminem (nam qui septem appellantur, eos, qui ista subtilius quaerunt, in numero sapientium non habent), Athenis unum accepimus, et eum quidem etiam Apollinis oraculo sapientissimum iudicatum; hanc esse in te sapientiam existimant, ut omnia tua in te posita esse ducas humanosque casus virtute inferiores putes. Itaque ex me quaerunt, credo ex hoc item Scaevola, quonam pacto mortem Africani feras, eoque magis quod proximis Nonis cum in hortos D. Bruti auguris commentandi causa, ut adsolet, venissemus, tu non adfuisti, qui diligentissime semper illum diem et illud munus solitus esses obire. But that you are a wise man not just in your nature and habits, but indeed also in your study and teaching, so that not just ordinary people, but even erudites regularly call you a wise man, like no one in the Greek tradition (for they do not include the seven so called, who investigated things so precisely, in the number of the wise) excluding the one man from Athens[10] who was judged to be the wisest of all by the Oracle of Apollo;[11] they think this is your wisdom: that you hold all your things to pertain to yourself and you think mortal failings lesser than virtue. Thus they ask of me, of Scaevola here as well (I think), how you bear the death of Africanus calmly, and this even more so because at the last Nones[12] when we went to the garden of Decimus Brutus[13] in order to study the augury as normal,[14] you were not present, though it is your very strict practice to always go on that day for that duty.

8[edit]

Latin English
SCAEVOLA: Quaerunt quidem, C. Laeli, multi, ut est a Fannio dictum, sed ego id respondeo, quod animum adverti, te dolorem, quem acceperis cum summi viri tum amicissimi morte, ferre moderate nec potuisse non commoveri nec fuisse id humanitatis tuae; quod autem Nonis in collegio nostro non adfuisses, valetudinem respondeo causam, non maestitiam fuisse. SCAEVOLA: Many people, Gaius Laelius, ask me this too, as Fannius has said, but I answer, that I have given it some thought and that you are bearing the pain which comes with the death of the pinnacle of men and a very good friend moderately and could not be unshaken by this, nor was this part of your impeccability;[15] but as for why you were not among our colleagues at the Nones, I answer that the cause was your health, not sorrow.
LAELIUS: Recte tu quidem, Scaevola, et vere; nec enim ab isto officio, quod semper usurpavi, cum valerem, abduci incommodo meo debui, nec ullo casu arbitror hoc constanti homini posse contingere, ut ulla intermissio fiat officii. LAELIUS: Correctly, Scaevola, and truly; for I ought not be led away from that duty, which I have always carried out when I was well, by my personal misfortune, nor in any situation do I think that this could so affect a firm person as to cause any break from duty.

9[edit]

Latin English
Tu autem, Fanni, quod mihi tantum tribui dicis quantum ego nec adgnosco nec postulo, facis amice; sed, ut mihi videris, non recte iudicas de Catone; aut enim nemo, quod quidem magis credo, aut si quisquam, ille sapiens fuit. Quo modo, ut alia omittam, mortem filii tulit! memineram Paulum, videram Galum, sed hi in pueris, Cato in perfecto et spectato viro. But you, Fannius, when you say that so much (which I neither recognise nor request) is attributed to me, act out of friendship; yet you seem to me not to judge Cato correctly; for either no one has been a wise man (which I believe more) or if anyone, then him. How well, to take just one example, he bore the death of his son! I remember Paulus, I saw Galus, but these died as children, Cato's son as a grown and esteemed man.

10[edit]

Latin English
Quam ob rem cave Catoni anteponas ne istum quidem ipsum, quem Apollo, ut ais, sapientissimum iudicavit; huius enim facta, illius dicta laudantur. De me autem, ut iam cum utroque vestrum loquar, sic habetote: On account of which, be careful not to place ahed of Cato even that man whom Apollo, as you say, judged to be wisest; for the deeds of the one and the words of the other are to be praised. But may it be held about me, as I now say to you both:
Ego si Scipionis desiderio me moveri negem, quam id recte faciam, viderint sapientes; sed certe mentiar. Moveor enim tali amico orbatus qualis, ut arbitror, nemo umquam erit, ut confirmare possum, nemo certe fuit; sed non egeo medicina, me ipse consolor et maxime illo solacio quod eo errore careo quo amicorum decessu plerique angi solent. Nihil mali accidisse Scipioni puto, mihi accidit, si quid accidit; suis autem incommodis graviter angi non amicum sed se ipsum amantis est. If I denied that I was moved by a longing for Scipio, that I did this correctly, the wise might think, but I would certainly be lying. For I am moved at being deprived of such a friend as (I think) no one else ever will be and (as I can prove) no one else ever was; but I am not without medicine, I console myself in particular with the solace that I am free from the error by which many people are usually pained at the departure of friends. I think nothing evil has happened to Scipio, it has happened to me, if anything has happened; but to be seriously pained by one's own misfortunes is for a man who loves not his friend but his own self.

11[edit]

Latin English
Cum illo vero quis neget actum esse praeclare? Nisi enim, quod ille minime putabat, immortalitatem optare vellet, quid non adeptus est quod homini fas esset optare? qui summam spem civium, quam de eo iam puero habuerant, continuo adulescens incredibili virtute superavit, qui consulatum petivit numquam, factus consul est bis, primum ante tempus, iterum sibi suo tempore, rei publicae paene sero, qui duabus urbibus eversis inimicissimis huic imperio non modo praesentia verum etiam futura bella delevit. Quid dicam de moribus facillimis, de pietate in matrem, liberalitate in sorores, bonitate in suos, iustitia in omnes? nota sunt vobis. Quam autem civitati carus fuerit, maerore funeris indicatum est. Quid igitur hunc paucorum annorum accessio iuvare potuisset? Senectus enim quamvis non sit gravis, ut memini Catonem anno ante quam est mortuus mecum et cum Scipione disserere, tamen aufert eam viriditatem in qua etiam nunc erat Scipio. As for him, who would deny that he has been taken outstandingly? For unless he was to desire immortality, which he never considered, what did he not achieve which it is licit for a man to desire? This man in whom the citizens put their greatest hopes when he was still a boy, who immediately exceeded them as a youth, who never sought the consulship, but was made consul twice, the first before his time, then again in his time,[16] but almost too late for the Republic, who, by overturning the two cities most hostile to ours, has eliminated through his command not just for the moment, but even for times to come. What could I say worthy of his most good natured way of life, his veneration for his mother, his generosity to his sisters, his goodness to his own people, his justice to everyone? You know these things. But how dear he was to his community, is indicated by the lamentation at his funeral. How then could the addition of a few years have helped him? For although old age may not be terrible - as I remember Cato discussed with me and Scipio a year before he died[17] - yet it strips away that vigour which Scipio has even now.

12[edit]

Latin English
Quam ob rem vita quidem talis fuit vel fortuna vel gloria, ut nihil posset accedere, moriendi autem sensum celeritas abstulit; quo de genere mortis difficile dictu est; quid homines suspicentur, videtis; hoc vere tamen licet dicere, P. Scipioni ex multis diebus, quos in vita celeberrimos laetissimosque viderit, illum diem clarissimum fuisse, cum senatu dimisso domum reductus ad vesperum est a patribus conscriptis, populo Romano, sociis et Latinis, pridie quam excessit e vita, ut ex tam alto dignitatis gradu ad superos videatur deos potius quam ad inferos pervenisse. With respect to which, he was such a man that in fortune or in glory he could add nothing more in life, while his awareness that he was dying was taken away by its rapidity; about the nature of his death it is difficult to say; what people believe, you know;[18] but it is possible to say this for sure, that for Publius Scipio, out of the many days of his life which seemed very glorious and happy, the most brilliant was the day when he was led home after the Senate finished for the day by the conscript fathers,[19] the Roman people, the allies and the Latins - the day before he left this life, so that from such a high level of prestige he seemed able to join the gods above rather than the dead below.

13[edit]

Latin English
Neque enim assentior iis qui haec nuper disserere coeperunt, cum corporibus simul animos interire atque omnia morte deleri; plus apud me antiquorum auctoritas valet, vel nostrorum maiorum, qui mortuis tam religiosa iura tribuerunt, quod non fecissent profecto si nihil ad eos pertinere arbitrarentur, vel eorum qui in hac terra fuerunt magnamque Graeciam, quae nunc quidem deleta est, tum florebat, institutis et praeceptis suis erudierunt, vel eius qui Apollinis oraculo sapientissimus est iudicatus, qui non tum hoc, tum illud, ut in plerisque, sed idem semper, animos hominum esse divinos, iisque, cum ex corpore excessissent, reditum in caelum patere, optimoque et iustissimo cuique expeditissimum. For I do not agree with those who have recently begun to discuss these things, when they say that minds die with bodies and that everything is destroyed by death; I am more swayed by the dictum of the ancients, both of our ancestors, who assigned such reverant laws to the dead, which they would not have done if they judged that nothing affected them, and of those who lived in this land and Magna Graecia, which is now destroyed but once flourished, and which they civilised with their institutions and precepts,[20] and of the one whom Apollo's oracle judged the wisest of all,[21] who did not say one thing at one time and another at another, as in many cases, but always the same thing: that human minds are divine and that, when they have left the body, return to heaven is open to them and the journey is lightest for the best and most just man.

14[edit]

Latin English
Quod idem Scipioni videbatur, qui quidem, quasi praesagiret, perpaucis ante mortem diebus, cum et Philus et Manilius adesset et alii plures, tuque etiam, Scaevola, mecum venisses, triduum disseruit de re publica; cuius disputationis fuit extremum fere de immortalitate animorum, quae se in quiete per visum ex Africano audisse dicebat. Id si ita est, ut optimi cuiusque animus in morte facillime evolet tamquam e custodia vinclisque corporis, cui censemus cursum ad deos faciliorem fuisse quam Scipioni? Quocirca maerere hoc eius eventu vereor ne invidi magis quam amici sit. Sin autem illa veriora, ut idem interitus sit animorum et corporum nec ullus sensus maneat, ut nihil boni est in morte, sic certe nihil mali; sensu enim amisso fit idem, quasi natus non esset omnino, quem tamen esse natum et nos gaudemus et haec civitas dum erit laetabitur. That seemed to apply to Scipio. In fact, as if he foresaw his fate, a very few days before his death, when Philus and Manilius were present and several others, including you, Scaevola, had come with me, he discussed the Republic for three days. The end of this debate was mostly about the immoratality of souls, which he said he had heard about in a dream from Africanus. If it is so that the soul of the best person flies forth most easily at death, as if from the custody and chains of the body, who will we determine to have had an easier journey to the gods than Scipio? Therefore I fear to mourn this event would be envy more than friendship. If instead it is truer that he has perished in mind and body and no consciousness remains, so that there is nothing good in death, then still there is nothing bad in it; for without consciousness it would be almost as if he had not been born at all, but we will rejoice that he was born and this community will be glad for it for as long as it exists.

15[edit]

Latin English
Quam ob rem cum illo quidem, ut supra dixi, actum optime est, mecum incommodius, quem fuerat aequius, ut prius introieram, sic prius exire de vita. Sed tamen recordatione nostrae amicitiae sic fruor ut beate vixisse videar, quia cum Scipione vixerim, quocum mihi coniuncta cura de publica re et de privata fuit, quocum et domus fuit et militia communis et, id in quo est omnis vis amicitiae, voluntatum, studiorum, sententiarum summa consensio. Itaque non tam ista me sapientiae, quam modo Fannius commemoravit, fama delectat, falsa praesertim, quam quod amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore, idque eo mihi magis est cordi, quod ex omnibus saeculis vix tria aut quattuor nominantur paria amicorum; quo in genere sperare videor Scipionis et Laeli amicitiam notam posteritati fore. Because of this thing, for him, as I said before, it has turned out for the best, for me it is more troublesome, when it would have been fairer, since I entered first, that I also departed first from life. But nevertheless I take so much joy in the memory of our friendship that I seem to have lived blessedly because I lived with Scipio, with whom my work in public and private affairs coincided, with whom both home and military service were shared and (this is the source of the whole force of the friendship) the closest agreement in desires, studies and thoughts. Thus it is not so much that this reputation for wisdom, which Fannius reported a little while ago, delights me, particularly since it's false, as that I hope that the memory of our friendship will be eternal, and this is dearer to my heart, because from all the ages barely three or four pairs of friends are famous. In the same company, I confessedly hope, the friendship of Scipio and Laelius will be counted by posterity.

16[edit]

Latin English
FANNIUS: Istuc quidem, Laeli, ita necesse est. Sed quoniam amicitiae mentionem fecisti et sumus otiosi, pergratum mihi feceris, spero item Scaevolae, si quem ad modum soles de ceteris rebus, cum ex te quaeruntur, sic de amicitia disputaris quid sentias, qualem existimes, quae praecepta des. FANNIUS: This must surely come to pass, Laelius. But since you have made mention of friendship and we are at leisure, you would make me very grateful (Scaevola too, I expect), if you would expound what you feel, how much you value, and what rules you would give about friendship, as you usually do about other things when they are asked of you.
SCAEVOLA: Mihi vero erit gratum; atque id ipsum cum tecum agere conarer, Fannius antevertit. Quam ob rem utrique nostrum gratum admodum feceris. SCAEVOLA: I would certainly be grateful for this, and Fannius has preempted the very thing which I was about to take up with you. Thus you would make both of us grateful in this way.

17[edit]

Latin English
LAELIUS: Ego vero non gravarer, si mihi ipse confiderem; nam et praeclara res est et sumus, ut dixit Fannius, otiosi. Sed quis ego sum? aut quae est in me facultas? doctorum est ista consuetudo, eaque Graecorum, ut iis ponatur de quo disputent quamvis subito; magnum opus est egetque exercitatione non parva. Quam ob rem quae disputari de amicitia possunt, ab eis censeo petatis qui ista profitentur; ego vos hortari tantum possum ut amicitiam omnibus rebus humanis anteponatis; nihil est enim tam naturae aptum, tam conveniens ad res vel secundas vel adversas. LAELIUS: I would not be burdened, if I were sure of myself; for the subject is outstanding and we are, as Fannius said, at leisure. But who am I and what special ability do I have? For this is practice of learned men, indeed that of Greeks, of expounding something even when it is put to them suddenly; it is a big task and requires no little training. Because of this I judge that you should ask those who are proficient in this what they can expound about friendship; I am able only to encourage you that you should put friendship before all human things, for there is nothing so naturally right, so suitable to favourable or adverse affairs.

18[edit]

Latin English
Sed hoc primum sentio, nisi in bonis, amicitiam esse non posse; neque id ad vivum reseco, ut illi qui haec subtilius disserunt, fortasse vere, sed ad communem utilitatem parum; negant enim quemquam esse virum bonum nisi sapientem. Sit ita sane; sed eam sapientiam interpretantur quam adhuc mortalis nemo est consecutus, nos autem ea quae sunt in usu vitaque communi, non ea quae finguntur aut optantur, spectare debemus. Numquam ego dicam C. Fabricium, M'. Curium, Ti. Coruncanium, quos sapientes nostri maiores iudicabant, ad istorum normam fuisse sapientes. Quare sibi habeant sapientiae nomen et invidiosum et obscurum; concedant ut viri boni fuerint. Ne id quidem facient, negabunt id nisi sapienti posse concedi. But first of all, I think this: except among good people, friendship cannot exist; but I don't take this in too strict a sense,[22] like those who discuss these things overly subtlely do - perhaps they discern truly, but to very little everyday utility, when they deny that anyone is a good man except for the wise man. That would be fine, but they interpret this wisdom as something which no mortal has yet achieved, but we ought to focus on those things which are in common and daily use, not those which are contrived or desired. I would never claim that Gaius Fabricius, Manius Curius, or Tiberius Coruncanius,[23] whom our ancestors judged to be wise men, were wise by this standard. Therefore, let them keep the invidious and obscure word "wisdom" for themselves and concede that they were good men. They will not even do this though, they will deny it can be granted to anyone except the wise man.

19[edit]

Latin English
Agamus igitur pingui, ut aiunt, Minerva. Qui ita se gerunt, ita vivunt ut eorum probetur fides, integritas, aequitas, liberalitas, nec sit in eis ulla cupiditas, libido, audacia, sintque magna constantia (ut ii fuerunt modo quos nominavi) hos viros bonos (ut habiti sunt) sic etiam appellandos putemus, quia sequantur (quantum homines possunt) naturam - optimam bene vivendi ducem. So let's go on "with the stupid Minerva,"[24] as they say. Those who comport themselves in such a way, who live in such a way that their loyalty, integrity, fairness and generosity are proven, such that there is no desire, lust, and insolence in them, and such that they have great steadfastness of character (like those whom I named just before), we consider ought indeed to be called good men (as is customary), because they follow (as much as humans can) nature - the best leader in proper living.
Sic enim mihi perspicere videor, ita natos esse nos ut inter omnes esset societas quaedam, maior autem ut quisque proxime accederet. Itaque cives potiores quam peregrini, propinqui quam alieni; cum his enim amicitiam natura ipsa peperit; sed ea non satis habet firmitatis. Namque hoc praestat amicitia propinquitati, quod ex propinquitate benevolentia tolli potest, ex amicitia non potest; sublata enim benevolentia amicitiae nomen tollitur, propinquitatis manet. So I seem to have concluded for myself this: that we are made in such a way that there is some community between all of us, but more with whoever approaches us most closely. And so citizens are more important than foreigners, relatives are more important than others; for nature itself has created friendship between these; but it is not sufficiently strong. For friendship is greater than relationship in this way: good will can be taken out of relationship, but cannot be taken out of friendship; for when good will is removed, the word "friendship" no longer applies, but "relationship" remains.

20[edit]

Latin English
Quanta autem vis amicitiae sit, ex hoc intellegi maxime potest, quod ex infinita societate generis humani, quam conciliavit ipsa natura, ita contracta res est et adducta in angustum ut omnis caritas aut inter duos aut inter paucos iungeretur. But how much strength friendship may have, can best be understood from this: out of the boundless community of the human species, which nature itself has interlinked, it is so tight and pulled close that all care is concentrated between two or between a few.
Est enim amicitia nihil aliud nisi omnium divinarum humanarumque rerum cum benevolentia et caritate consensio; qua quidem haud scio an excepta sapientia nihil melius homini sit a dis immortalibus datum. Divitias alii praeponunt, bonam alii valetudinem, alii potentiam, alii honores, multi etiam voluptates. Beluarum hoc quidem extremum, illa autem superiora caduca et incerta, posita non tam in consiliis nostris quam in fortunae temeritate. Qui autem in virtute summum bonum ponunt, praeclare illi quidem, sed haec ipsa virtus amicitiam et gignit et continet nec sine virtute amicitia esse ullo pacto potest. For friendship is nothing other than the agreement in all divine and human things with good will and care; indeed I think nothing (excepting wisdom) better than this is granted to humanity by the immortal gods. Some people put riches first, others good health, others power, others honour, many even pleasure. This last is a thing of beasts, but the others are transient and uncertain, controlled not so much by our deliberations, as by the heedlessness of chance. But some put the greatest good in virtue (that's truly outstanding), but this virtue itself both produces and preserves this friendship, for without virtue, friendship cannot exist by any means.

21[edit]

Latin English
Iam virtutem ex consuetudine vitae sermonisque nostri interpretemur nec eam, ut quidam docti, verborum magnificentia metiamur; virosque bonos eos, qui habentur, numeremus, Paulos, Catones, Galos, Scipiones, Philos; his communis vita contenta est; eos autem omittamus, qui omnino nusquam reperiuntur. Now then, let us interpret virtue according to everyday usage and our ordinary speech, rather than measuring it with the verbal magnificence which some learned men use. Let us count the following as good men as usual: the Pauli, the Catones, the Scipiones, the Phili; whose lives are satisfying according to these common standards, but let's ignore those who find no one at all [to be good].

22[edit]

Latin English
Talis igitur inter viros amicitia tantas opportunitates habet quantas vix queo dicere. Principio qui potest esse vita 'vitalis', ut ait Ennius, quae non in amici mutua benevolentia conquiescit? Quid dulcius quam habere quicum omnia audeas sic loqui ut tecum? Qui esset tantus fructus in prosperis rebus, nisi haberes, qui illis aeque ac tu ipse gauderet? adversas vero ferre difficile esset sine eo qui illas gravius etiam quam tu ferret. Denique ceterae res quae expetuntur opportunae sunt singulae rebus fere singulis, divitiae, ut utare, opes, ut colare, honores, ut laudere, voluptates, ut gaudeas, valetudo, ut dolore careas et muneribus fungare corporis; amicitia res plurimas continet; quoquo te verteris, praesto est, nullo loco excluditur, numquam intempestiva, numquam molesta est; itaque non aqua, non igni, ut aiunt, locis pluribus utimur quam amicitia. Neque ego nunc de vulgari aut de mediocri, quae tamen ipsa et delectat et prodest, sed de vera et perfecta loquor, qualis eorum qui pauci nominantur fuit. Nam et secundas res splendidiores facit amicitia et adversas partiens communicansque leviores. Such friendship between such men, then, has such great rewards that I can barely put them into words. First of all, how could a life be "livable," as Ennius puts it,[25] which does not rejoice in the mutual good wishes of a friend? What is sweeter than to have someone with whom you dare to discuss everything, as if with yourself? How could there be great joy in prosperous things, if you did not have someone who would enjoy them equally much as you yourself? Disasters would by hard indeed to bear without someone who would bear them even more heavily than yourself. Finally, other things which are sought after are individual advantages for entirely individual things: riches that you may use them, resources that you may be looked after, honours that you may be praised, pleasures that you may enjoy them, health that you may be free from pain and make use of the gifts of the body; friendship contains very many things: wherever you turn, it is present, it is shut out from no place, is never unseasonable, never troublesome; thus we do not use water, we do not use fire, as they put it, in more contexts than friendship.[26] I'm not now talking about the ordinary or regular friendship, although it delights and benefits, but about the true and perfect friendship, of the sort which existed between those few who are famous for this. For friendship both makes favourable things more splendid and disasters lighter, by splitting and sharing them.

23[edit]

Latin English
Cumque plurimas et maximas commoditates amicitia contineat, tum illa nimirum praestat omnibus, quod bonam spem praelucet in posterum nec debilitari animos aut cadere patitur. Verum enim amicum qui intuetur, tamquam exemplar aliquod intuetur sui. Quocirca et absentes adsunt et egentes abundant et imbecilli valent et, quod difficilius dictu est, mortui vivunt; tantus eos honos, memoria, desiderium prosequitur amicorum. Ex quo illorum beata mors videtur, horum vita laudabilis. Quod si exemeris ex rerum natura benevolentiae coniunctionem, nec domus ulla nec urbs stare poterit, ne agri quidem cultus permanebit. Id si minus intellegitur, quanta vis amicitiae concordiaeque sit, ex dissensionibus atque ex discordiis percipi potest. Quae enim domus tam stabilis, quae tam firma civitas est, quae non odiis et discidiis funditus possit everti? Ex quo quantum boni sit in amicitia iudicari potest. And since friendship holds many of the greatest conveniences, it clearly stands out beyond everything else, because it lights up good hope for posterity and does not allow souls to weaken or fall. For in fact when someone beholds a friend, it is as if he a beholds a copy of himself. For this reason, even when they part, they are together, even when they are poor, they prosper, even when they are weak, they are strong and (most difficult to say), even when they have died, they live - so great is the esteem, memory and longing of their friends for them. Because of this, their death seems blessed, their life praiseworthy. But if you were to take the bond of good will out of the world, not a single house or city could remain standing - not even the cultivation[27] of the farm would endure. If that is less than clear, then how great the strength of friendship and harmony are may be grasped from dissension and discord. For what house is so stable, what community so firm that it could not be completely overturned by hatred and disagreement? From this, the amount of goodness in friendship can be judged.

24[edit]

Latin English
Agrigentinum quidem doctum quendam virum carminibus Graecis vaticinatum ferunt, quae in rerum natura totoque mundo constarent quaeque moverentur, ea contrahere amicitiam, dissipare discordiam. Atque hoc quidem omnes mortales et intellegunt et re probant. Itaque si quando aliquod officium exstitit amici in periculis aut adeundis aut communicandis, quis est qui id non maximis efferat laudibus? Qui clamores tota cavea nuper in hospitis et amici mei M. Pacuvi nova fabula, cum ignorante rege, uter Orestes esset, Pylades Orestem se esse diceret, ut pro illo necaretur, Orestes autem, ita ut erat, Orestem se esse perseveraret! Stantes plaudebant in re ficta; quid arbitramur in vera facturos fuisse? Facile indicabat ipsa natura vim suam, cum homines, quod facere ipsi non possent, id recte fieri in altero iudicarent. They say that a certain learned Agrigentine[28] foretold in Greek prophecies, what in the universe and in the world would remain the same and what would change, saying that friendship would pull together, discord would scatter apart. Indeed, all mortals know this and approve of it. Thus, whenever any deed in aid of a friend in trouble or for sharing their load occurs, who is there who does not announce it with the greatest praise? The shouts throughout the whole audience recently at the new play of my friend Marcus Pacuvius, when the king was unsure which of them was Orestes and Pylades said that he was Orestes - intending to die for him - but Orestes continued to say that he was Orestes, so that he might die for him![29] There was a standing ovation for a fictional story - what do we think they would have done if it happened in reality? Nature itself easily showed her power, since men who could not do this themselves, considered it a good deed in another man.
Hactenus mihi videor de amicitia quid sentirem potuisse dicere; si quae praeterea sunt (credo autem esse multa), ab iis, si videbitur, qui ista disputant, quaeritote. So far I seem to have been able to say what I think about friendship; if there are more things beyond this to say (and I think there are several), then, if you wish, ask those who[30] expound on this kind of thing about them.

25[edit]

Latin English
FANNIUS: Nos autem a te potius; quamquam etiam ab istis saepe quaesivi et audivi non invitus equidem; sed aliud quoddam filum orationis tuae. FANNIUS: But we'd rather hear from you; for although I have often asked those people and listened to them willingly of course, yet the thread of your speech is rather different.
SCAEVOLA: Tum magis id diceres, Fanni, si nuper in hortis Scipionis, cum est de re publica disputatum, adfuisses. Qualis tum patronus iustitiae fuit contra accuratam orationem Phili! SCAEVOLA: So, you would say this even more enthusiastically, Fannius, if you had been in the Garden of Scipio recently when there was a discussion about the Republic.[31] He was such a great supporter of justice against the studied oration of Philus![32]
FANNIUS: Facile id quidem fuit iustitiam iustissimo viro defendere! FANNIUS: It was surely an easy thing for such a just man to defend justice!
SCAEVOLA: Quid? amicitiam nonne facile ei qui ob eam summa fide, constantia iustitiaque servatam maximam gloriam ceperit? SCAEVOLA: What? Won't friendship be easy too for a man who has received the greatest glory because it has been served by him with the greatest faith, constancy, and justice?

26[edit]

Latin English
LAELIUS: Vim hoc quidem est adferre! Quid enim refert qua me ratione cogatis? cogitis certe. Studiis enim generorum, praesertim in re bona, cum difficile est, tum ne aequum quidem obsistere. LAELIUS: This is compulsion by force! Why does it matter how you are forcing me? You certainly are forcing me. For it would be difficult to refuse anyway, but against the eagerness of one's sons-in-law, especially about a good thing, it is not even fair.
Saepissime igitur mihi de amicitia cogitanti maxime illud considerandum videri solet, utrum propter imbecillitatem atque inopiam desiderata sit amicitia, ut dandis recipiendisque meritis quod quisque minus per se ipse posset, id acciperet ab alio vicissimque redderet, an esset hoc quidem proprium amicitiae, sed antiquior et pulchrior et magis a natura ipsa profecta alia causa. Amor enim, ex quo amicitia nominata est, princeps est ad benevolentiam coniungendam. Nam utilitates quidem etiam ab iis percipiuntur saepe qui simulatione amicitiae coluntur et observantur temporis causa, in amicitia autem nihil fictum est, nihil simulatum et, quidquid est, id est verum et voluntarium. So, very often when I have been thinking about friendship, this has tended to seem to me to be the thing that needs to be considered the most: whether friendship is desired on account of powerlessness and poverty, in order that one may get from another what one would be less capable of getting for oneself and give something back in return, since friends have to give and receive favours, or whether, while this is indeed a characteristic of friendship, there is another cause - older, prettier and more inherent in its very nature. For love, from which friendship is named,[33] is the first cause of goodwill's creation. Though indeed utility is often perceived by those who are graced with the simulation of friendship and are courted for the needs of the moment, yet in friendship nothing is fake, nothing is simulation, and whatever it is, it is true and voluntary.

27[edit]

Latin English
Quapropter a natura mihi videtur potius quam ab indigentia orta amicitia, applicatione magis animi cum quodam sensu amandi quam cogitatione quantum illa res utilitatis esset habitura. Quod quidem quale sit, etiam in bestiis quibusdam animadverti potest, quae ex se natos ita amant ad quoddam tempus et ab eis ita amantur ut facile earum sensus appareat. Quod in homine multo est evidentius, primum ex ea caritate quae est inter natos et parentes, quae dirimi nisi detestabili scelere non potest; deinde cum similis sensus exstitit amoris, si aliquem nacti sumus cuius cum moribus et natura congruamus, quod in eo quasi lumen aliquod probitatis et virtutis perspicere videamur. For this reason, friendship seems to me to arise more from its nature than from neediness, more by the attachment of the mind to the emotion of love, than by consideration of how much useful stuff it will hold. For what kind of thing this is, one can even consider those animals, which love their offspring so much for a time and are loved by them so much that their emotion is clearly apparent. In humans this is much more evident, firstly from the care which exists between offspring and parents, which cannot be separated except by abominable outrage; secondly since the similar emotion of love comes into existance, if we meet anyone whose habits and nature we agree with, because in them we seem to discern a sort of light of honesty and virtue.

28[edit]

Latin English
Nihil est enim virtute amabilius, nihil quod magis adliciat ad diligendum, quippe cum propter virtutem et probitatem etiam eos, quos numquam vidimus, quodam modo diligamus. Quis est qui C. Fabrici, M'. Curi non cum caritate aliqua benevola memoriam usurpet, quos numquam viderit? quis autem est, qui Tarquinium Superbum, qui Sp. Cassium, Sp. Maelium non oderit? Cum duobus ducibus de imperio in Italia est decertatum, Pyrrho et Hannibale; ab altero propter probitatem eius non nimis alienos animos habemus, alterum propter crudelitatem semper haec civitas oderit. For nothing is more lovable than virtue, nothing is more conducive to admiration, for indeed because of virtue and honesty we even admire in some way people whom we have never met. Who is there who does not remember Gaius Fabricius or Manius Curius[23] with affection and goodwill, although they have never seen them? On the other hand who is there who does not hate Tarquinius Superbus,[34] or Spurius Cassius and Spurius Maelius?[35] There were struggles with two leaders for command over Italy: Pyrrhus and Hannibal; we have no particularly hostile attitude to one of them on account of his honesty, but this community will always hate the other on account of his cruelty.[36]

29[edit]

Latin English
Quod si tanta vis probitatis est ut eam vel in iis quos numquam vidimus, vel, quod maius est, in hoste etiam diligamus, quid mirum est, si animi hominum moveantur, cum eorum, quibuscum usu coniuncti esse possunt, virtutem et bonitatem perspicere videantur? Quamquam confirmatur amor et beneficio accepto et studio perspecto et consuetudine adiuncta, quibus rebus ad illum primum motum animi et amoris adhibitis admirabilis quaedam exardescit benevolentiae magnitudo. Quam si qui putant ab imbecillitate proficisci, ut sit per quem adsequatur quod quisque desideret, humilem sane relinquunt et minime generosum, ut ita dicam, ortum amicitiae, quam ex inopia atque indigentia natam volunt. Quod si ita esset, ut quisque minimum esse in se arbitraretur, ita ad amicitiam esset aptissimus; quod longe secus est. If the force of honesty is so great that we admire it both in those whom we've never seen and - more amazing - even in our enemies, how is it surprising if human minds are moved when they seem to perceive the virtue and goodness of those with whom they are can be regularly associated? Yet love is strengthened by receiving good deeds, perceiving zeal, and adding familiarity - with these things added to that initial movement of the soul to love of the admirable, this good will's size flares up. If people think friendship is made out of neediness, that someone may have what he desires by cultivating someone, they make it low indeed and grant the least noble origin, so to speak, to friendship, which they wish to be born from poverty and neediness. If this were so, then they would think that whoever has the least themselves would be the most fit for friendship - which is far from correct.

30[edit]

Latin English
Ut enim quisque sibi plurimum confidit et ut quisque maxime virtute et sapientia sic munitus est, ut nullo egeat suaque omnia in se ipso posita iudicet, ita in amicitiis expetendis colendisque maxime excellit. Quid enim? Africanus indigens mei? Minime hercule! ac ne ego quidem illius; sed ego admiratione quadam virtutis eius, ille vicissim opinione fortasse non nulla, quam de meis moribus habebat, me dilexit; auxit benevolentiam consuetudo. Sed quamquam utilitates multae et magnae consecutae sunt, non sunt tamen ab earum spe causae diligendi profectae. For when someone trusts himself the most and when someone is so completely given to virtue and wisdom that he needs nothing and could judge that all his possessions are located within himself, then he will be far beyond needing to desire or cultivate friendships. Why bother? What did Africanus need from me? Nothing by Hercules![37] And I didn't need anything from him either; but I valued him out of admiration of his virtue, he likewise valued me - perhaps out of a not insubstantial view which he held on my habits; association increased the good will. But although the benefits which followed were many and great, yet the causes of our devotion were not performed in expectation of them.

31[edit]

Latin English
Ut enim benefici liberalesque sumus, non ut exigamus gratiam (neque enim beneficium faeneramur sed natura propensi ad liberalitatem sumus), sic amicitiam non spe mercedis adducti sed quod omnis eius fructus in ipso amore inest, expetendam putamus. For while we are beneficient and generous people, it is not in order to force something in return (for we would not loan out gifts, but are inclined to generosity by nature), so it is not drawn by hope for material rewards, but because of all the joy inherent in love itself, that we think friendship ought to be sought.

32[edit]

Latin English
Ab his qui pecudum ritu ad voluptatem omnia referunt longe dissentiunt, nec mirum; nihil enim altum, nihil magnificum ac divinum suspicere possunt qui suas omnes cogitationes abiecerunt in rem tam humilem tamque contemptam. Quam ob rem hos quidem ab hoc sermone removeamus, ipsi autem intellegamus natura gigni sensum diligendi et benevolentiae caritatem facta significatione probitatis. Quam qui adpetiverunt, applicant se et propius admovent ut et usu eius, quem diligere coeperunt, fruantur et moribus sintque pares in amore et aequales propensioresque ad bene merendum quam ad reposcendum, atque haec inter eos sit honesta certatio. Sic et utilitates ex amicitia maximae capientur et erit eius ortus a natura quam ab imbecillitate gravior et verior. Nam si utilitas amicitias conglutinaret, eadem commutata dissolveret; sed quia natura mutari non potest, idcirco verae amicitiae sempiternae sunt. Ortum quidem amicitiae videtis, nisi quid ad haec forte vultis. This differs a lot from those who relate everything to material desires in the manner of beasts, but that is not surprising; for nothing elevated, nothing magnificent and divine can be understood by those who throw all their thoughts into such low and such contemptable things. Because of this, let's remove them from this discussion, but we ourselves should understand that a person's nature creates the feeling of devotion and good will's dearness comes from its recognition of one's honesty. Those who have yearned for friendship apply themselves to and are specially moved to enjoy the company of the one whom they have begun to be devoted to and their habits, to be equal in love and similar to them, to be more inclined to deserve good than to demand it, and for there to be honorable competition between them. The greatest utility is gained from friendship in this way and its origion will come from a personal nature which is weightier and truer than neediness. For if utility solidified friendships, it would dissolve them when circumstances were changed. You see then the origin of friendship, unless perhaps you are not in agreement on this.
FANNIUS: Tu vero perge, Laeli; pro hoc enim, qui minor est natu, meo iure respondeo. FANNIUS: Please go on, Lealius; I answer for Scaevola too, as is my right, since he is younger than me.

33[edit]

Latin English
SCAEVOLA: Recte tu quidem. Quam ob rem audiamus. SCAEVOLA: You're entirely right. So let's keep listening.
LAELIUS: Audite vero, optimi viri, ea quae saepissime inter me et Scipionem de amicitia disserebantur. Quamquam ille quidem nihil difficilius esse dicebat, quam amicitiam usque ad extremum vitae diem permanere. Nam vel ut non idem expediret, incidere saepe, vel ut de re publica non idem sentiretur; mutari etiam mores hominum saepe dicebat, alias adversis rebus, alias aetate ingravescente. Atque earum rerum exemplum ex similitudine capiebat ineuntis aetatis, quod summi puerorum amores saepe una cum praetexta toga ponerentur. LAELIUS: Listen well, my good men, to these things about friendship which Scipio and I often discussed. Yet he in fact used to say that nothing is more difficult than to maintain a friendship until the last day of one's life, because either it would not profit both the same, as often happens, or they would not think the same about politics. Often he used to say also that the habits of people are changed - sometimes by misfortunes, sometimes by the increasing weight of age. And he used to offer as a proof of this by analogy with coming of age, because the greatest loves of boys are often taken off with the toga praetexta.[4]

34[edit]

Latin English
Sin autem ad adulescentiam perduxissent, dirimi tamen interdum contentione vel uxoriae condicionis vel commodi alicuius, quod idem adipisci uterque non posset. Quod si qui longius in amicitia provecti essent, tamen saepe labefactari, si in honoris contentionem incidissent; pestem enim nullam maiorem esse amicitiis quam in plerisque pecuniae cupiditatem, in optimis quibusque honoris certamen et gloriae; ex quo inimicitias maximas saepe inter amicissimos exstitisse. If instead they maintained their childhood love, he said that they would often by torn apart later by fighting about marriage matches or some other opportunity for profit, because they cannot both have the same thing. If they were to carry on their friendship even longer, then it would often be toppled if they entered into a competition for honour; for he said that there is no greater plague for friendships than the desire in many people for money and the contest in the best sorts for honour and glory, from which the greatest emnities often arise between the best of friends.

35[edit]

Latin English
Magna etiam discidia et plerumque iusta nasci, cum aliquid ab amicis quod rectum non esset postularetur, ut aut libidinis ministri aut adiutores essent ad iniuriam; quod qui recusarent, quamvis honeste id facerent, ius tamen amicitiae deserere arguerentur ab iis quibus obsequi nollent. Illos autem qui quidvis ab amico auderent postulare, postulatione ipsa profiteri omnia se amici causa esse facturos. Eorum querella inveterata non modo familiaritates exstingui solere sed odia etiam gigni sempiterna. Haec ita multa quasi fata impendere amicitiis ut omnia subterfugere non modo sapientiae sed etiam felicitatis diceret sibi videri. He said too that great and often just disgreements are born when someone asks something from his friends which is not right, either to provide for their lust or to aid them in a crime, because those who refuse this, although they do so rightly, are still accused of breaking the rules of friendship by those who they did not want to gratify, but also that those who dare to request whatever they want of a friend, declare by that very request that they will do everything for their friend. He said that often their long term quarrels not only extinguished intimacy but even gave birth to eternal hatred. Thus, so many things seemed almost fated to weigh against friendships that he said it seemed to him that to escape everything required not just wisdom but also luck.

36[edit]

Latin English
Quam ob rem id primum videamus, si placet, quatenus amor in amicitia progredi debeat. Numne, si Coriolanus habuit amicos, ferre contra patriam arma illi cum Coriolano debuerunt? num Vecellinum amici regnum adpetentem, num Maelium debuerunt iuvare? Because of this, let's look first, if you agree, at how far the love of a friendship ought to extend. If Coriolanus had friends, should they really have borne arms against the fatherland with him?[38] Should they have helped Vecellinus seek the kingship? Or Maelius?[35]

37[edit]

Latin English
Ti. quidem Gracchum rem publicam vexantem a Q. Tuberone aequalibusque amicis derelictum videbamus. At C. Blossius Cumanus, hospes familiae vestrae, Scaevola, cum ad me, quod aderam Laenati et Rupilio consulibus in consilio, deprecatum venisset, hanc ut sibi ignoscerem, causam adferebat, quod tanti Ti. Gracchum fecisset ut, quidquid ille vellet, sibi faciendum putaret. Tum ego: 'Etiamne, si te in Capitolium faces ferre vellet?' 'Numquam' inquit 'voluisset id quidem; sed si voluisset, parvissem.' Videtis, quam nefaria vox! Et hercule ita fecit vel plus etiam quam dixit; non enim paruit ille Ti. Gracchi temeritati sed praefuit, nec se comitem illius furoris, sed ducem praebuit. Itaque hac amentia quaestione nova perterritus in Asiam profugit, ad hostes se contulit, poenas rei publicae graves iustasque persolvit. Nulla est igitur excusatio peccati, si amici causa peccaveris; nam cum conciliatrix amicitiae virtutis opinio fuerit, difficile est amicitiam manere, si a virtute defeceris. Indeed when Tiberius Gracchus was troubling the Republic, we saw that he was abandoned by Quintus Tubero and similar friends. But Gaius Blossius of Cumae, traditional associate of your family, Scaevola, when he came before me (because I was in the council of the consuls Laenas and Rupilius), proposed that I should pardon him, because he had thought so much of Tiberius Gracchus that he thought he ought to do whatever he wanted.[39] Then I said "Even if he had wanted you to set fire to the Capitolium?!"[40] "Not a chance," he said, "that he would have wanted that. But if he had wanted it, I would have helped." You see, what an abominable speech! And by Hercules, he did was even worse in deed than in word, for he did not help Tiberius Gracchus out of fear, but protected him, not as a partner in his madness but approving of him as a leader. So, he was terrified by this inquiry to a new level of insanity and fled to Asia,[41] he entrusted himself to a traditional associate, and escaped the heavy and just punishment of the Republic. So it's no excuse for committing a crime that you committed the crime for a friend's sake; for while the matchmaker of friendship is esteem for virtue, it is difficult to maintain friendship, if you abandon virtue.

38[edit]

Latin English
Quod si rectum statuerimus vel concedere amicis, quidquid velint, vel impetrare ab iis, quidquid velimus, perfecta quidem sapientia si simus, nihil habeat res vitii; sed loquimur de iis amicis qui ante oculos sunt, quos vidimus aut de quibus memoriam accepimus, quos novit vita communis. Ex hoc numero nobis exempla sumenda sunt, et eorum quidem maxime qui ad sapientiam proxime accedunt. If we considered it right to grant friends whatever they want or to take from them whatever we want, certainly, if we were perfectly wise, nothing bad would result - but we are talking about these friends whom we see with our own eyes or whom we accept the accounts of, who have experienced real life.[42] From this group we ought to take our exemplars, especially from those of them who come closest to wisdom.

39[edit]

Latin English
Videmus Papum Aemilium Luscino familiarem fuisse (sic a patribus accepimus), bis una consules, collegas in censura; tum et cum iis et inter se coniunctissimos fuisse M'. Curium, Ti. Coruncanium memoriae proditum est. Igitur ne suspicari quidem possumus quemquam horum ab amico quippiam contendisse, quod contra fidem, contra ius iurandum, contra rem publicam esset. Nam hoc quidem in talibus viris quid attinet dicere, si contendisset, impetraturum non fuisse? cum illi sanctissimi viri fuerint, aeque autem nefas sit tale aliquid et facere rogatum et rogare. At vero Ti. Gracchum sequebantur C. Carbo, C. Cato, et minime tum quidem C. frater, nunc idem acerrimus. We will see that Papus Aemilius was a close friend of Luscino (as we learn from our fathers), that they were consuls in the same year twice, colleagues in the censorship; it is also reported by tradition that Manius Curius and Tiberius Coruncanium were very close to them and to each other.[23] So we cannot believe that any of them ever sought anything from a friend which went against good faith, against oaths, against the Republic. So what does it matter with such men to say that, if one of them sought such a thing, he would not have got it? For they were exceptionally holy men and it would be equally abominable to fulfill a request for such a thing and to request it. But in fact Tiberius Gracchus was followed by Gaius Carbo, Gaius Cato and (very little at the time but now intensely so) his brother Gaius.

40[edit]

Latin English
Haec igitur lex in amicitia sanciatur, ut neque rogemus res turpes nec faciamus rogati. Turpis enim excusatio est et minime accipienda cum in ceteris peccatis, tum si quis contra rem publicam se amici causa fecisse fateatur. Etenim eo loco, Fanni et Scaevola, locati sumus ut nos longe prospicere oporteat futuros casus rei publicae. Deflexit iam aliquantum de spatio curriculoque consuetudo maiorum. Therefore, let this law be established for friendship: that we should neither ask for foul things nor fulfill requests for them. For this is a foul excuse and ought not be accepted for any crime, but especially not if someone is shown to have placed themselves against the Republic for the sake of a friend. Even more so in this situation, Fannius and Scaevola, which we are now situated in, where it is necessary for us to look far and wide for future dangers to the Republic. Nowadays, the customs of our ancestors have turned away somewhat from the beaten path and the race course.[43]

41[edit]

Latin English
Ti. Gracchus regnum occupare conatus est, vel regnavit is quidem paucos menses. Num quid simile populus Romanus audierat aut viderat? Hunc etiam post mortem secuti amici et propinqui quid in P. Scipione effecerint, sine lacrimis non queo dicere. Nam Carbonem, quocumque modo potuimus, propter recentem poenam Ti. Gracchi sustinuimus; de C. Gracchi autem tribunatu quid expectem, non libet augurari. Serpit deinde res; quae proclivis ad perniciem, cum semel coepit, labitur. Videtis in tabella iam ante quanta sit facta labes, primo Gabinia lege, biennio autem post Cassia. Videre iam videor populum a senatu disiunctum, multitudinis arbitrio res maximas agi. Plures enim discent quem ad modum haec fiant, quam quem ad modum iis resistatur. Tiberius Gracchus attempted to seize the kingship, or rather he reigned for a few months. For what like him had the Roman people heard or seen? And what his followers and relatives did after his death to Publius Scipio I cannot discuss without tears. For, although we were barely able, we bore Carbo because of the recent punishment of Tiberius Gracchus; but I do not wish to augur what I shall see from the tribunate of Gaius Gracchus. After it the matter creeps, until it begins and slides headlong into ruin. You see now in the elections how much damage has been done, first by the Gabinian Law, and two years later by the Cassian. Now I seem to see the people divided from the Senate, most matters controlled by the decision of the multitude. For more people will learn how these things can be done than how they can be resisted by them.

42[edit]

Latin English
Quorsum haec? Quia sine sociis nemo quicquam tale conatur. Praecipiendum est igitur bonis ut, si in eius modi amicitias ignari casu aliquo inciderint, ne existiment ita se alligatos ut ab amicis in magna aliqua re publica peccantibus non discedant; improbis autem poena statuenda est, nec vero minor iis qui secuti erunt alterum, quam iis qui ipsi fuerint impietatis duces. Quis clarior in Graecia Themistocle, quis potentior? qui cum imperator bello Persico servitute Graeciam liberavisset propterque invidiam in exsilium expulsus esset, ingratae patriae iniuriam non tulit, quam ferre debuit, fecit idem, quod xx annis ante apud nos fecerat Coriolanus. His adiutor contra patriam inventus est nemo; itaque mortem sibi uterque conscivit. Why do I turn to such things? Because without friends, no one attempts such a thing. So the good must be warned that if the fall into friendships of this sort, unaware of any risk, they should not think that they are bound in such a way that they cannot part with friends who are committing some great crime against the Republic; but the legal punishment must be set for the wicked - no less in fact for those who followed someone else that for those who have themselves been leaders of impiety.[44] Who was more glorious in Greece than Themistocles?[45] Who more powerful? When he had freed Greece from slavery, as a general in the Persian War and was throw in out into exile on account of jealousy, he did not bear the injustice of his ungrateful fatherland, as he ought to have done, he did the same thing which 20 years earlier Coriolanus had done among us.[38] These men found no allies against their fatherland, so each plotted his own death.[46]

43[edit]

Latin English
Quare talis improborum consensio non modo excusatione amicitiae tegenda non est sed potius supplicio omni vindicanda est, ut ne quis concessum putet amicum vel bellum patriae inferentem sequi; quod quidem, ut res ire coepit, haud scio an aliquando futurum sit. Mihi autem non minori curae est, qualis res publica post mortem meam futura, quam qualis hodie sit. Thus such agreement among the wicked must not only not be covered by the defence of friendship, but rather punishment ought to be rendered to everyone involved, so that no one will think that it is permissable to follow a friend or anyone else waging war against the fatherland (as things are just beginning to happen now, I do not know whether such a thing will come to pass at some point, but how the Republic will fare after my death is no less a care for me that how it will fare today.

44[edit]

Latin English
Haec igitur prima lex amicitiae sanciatur, ut ab amicis honesta petamus, amicorum causa honesta faciamus, ne exspectemus quidem, dum rogemur; studium semper adsit, cunctatio absit; consilium vero dare audeamus libere. Plurimum in amicitia amicorum bene suadentium valeat auctoritas, eaque et adhibeatur ad monendum non modo aperte sed etiam acriter, si res postulabit, et adhibitae pareatur. Therefore, let this first law of friendship be established: that we should seek honorable things from friends and should do honourable things for the sake of our friends; we should not wait until we are asked; enthusiasm should always be present, hesitation absent; we should dare to give advice truly and freely. In friendship, may the influence of friends who persuade well flourish most and may it be applied to warn not just openly but even sharply, if a matter requires it, and may there be obedience to it when so applied.

45[edit]

Latin English
Nam quibusdam, quos audio sapientes habitos in Graecia, placuisse opinor mirabilia quaedam (sed nihil est quod illi non persequantur argutiis): partim fugiendas esse nimias amicitias, ne necesse sit unum sollicitum esse pro pluribus; satis superque esse sibi suarum cuique rerum, alienis nimis implicari molestum esse; commodissimum esse quam laxissimas habenas habere amicitiae, quas vel adducas, cum velis, vel remittas; caput enim esse ad beate vivendum securitatem, qua frui non possit animus, si tamquam parturiat unus pro pluribus. For I consider these things, which have been approved by some of those whom the Greeks considered wise, astounding (but there is nothing which they would not pursue in debate): some say that too many friendships ought to be avoided so that one person should not have to take care of many; that it is enough (even excessive) for each person to take care of their own affairs, it is too much difficulty to be involved in other peoples' as well; that it is most convenient to hold the reins of friendship as loosly as possible, so you can pull them tight when you wish or let them go; because the key to living a blessed life is freedom from worldly cares, which the mind cannot enjoy if it is like one in labour with many.

46[edit]

Latin English
Alios autem dicere aiunt multo etiam inhumanius (quem locum breviter paulo ante perstrinxi) praesidii adiumentique causa, non benevolentiae neque caritatis, amicitias esse expetendas; itaque, ut quisque minimum firmitatis haberet minimumque virium, ita amicitias appetere maxime; ex eo fieri ut mulierculae magis amicitiarum praesidia quaerant quam viri et inopes quam opulenti et calamitosi quam ii qui putentur beati. But it's said that others of them say an even more inhuman thing (which I touched on briefly a little earlier): that friendships ought to be sought for protection and assistance, not good will or affection; therefore, whoever has the least endurance and the least power, strives after friendships the most; from this it is concluded that little girls seek the protection of friendship more than men, the poor more than the rich, and the ruined more than those who are considered blessed.

47[edit]

Latin English
O praeclaram sapientiam! Solem enim e mundo tollere videntur, qui amicitiam e vita tollunt, qua nihil a dis immortalibus melius habemus, nihil iucundius. Quae est enim ista securitas? Specie quidem blanda sed reapse multis locis repudianda. Neque enim est consentaneum ullam honestam rem actionemve, ne sollicitus sis, aut non suscipere aut susceptam deponere. Quod si curam fugimus, virtus fugienda est, quae necesse est cum aliqua cura res sibi contrarias aspernetur atque oderit, ut bonitas malitiam, temperantia libidinem, ignaviam fortitudo; itaque videas rebus iniustis iustos maxime dolere, imbellibus fortes, flagitiosis modestos. Ergo hoc proprium est animi bene constituti, et laetari bonis rebus et dolere contrariis. What fantastic sagacity! For they seem to remove the sun from the Earth, these people who remove friendship from life, when we have received no better thing, no sweeter thing, from the immortal gods. For what's the purpose of freedom from concern? In appearance certainly a seductive thing, but in reality it ought to be repudiated on many grounds. For it is not fitting, if you are not in trouble, to leave any honourable thing or action undone or to put it aside once it is begun. But if we flee worries, virtue must be fled, which is necessary since it is by means of some concern that it spurns or hates a thing contrary to itself, like goodness with badness, self-restraint with licentiousness, endurance with idleness; likewise you will see that just men are most pained by unjust things, brave men by cowardly things, honourable men by disgraceful things. Because of this very thing, well constituted minds enjoy good things and hate the opposite.

48[edit]

Latin English
Quam ob rem si cadit in sapientem animi dolor, qui profecto cadit, nisi ex eius animo exstirpatam humanitatem arbitramur, quae causa est cur amicitiam funditus tollamus e vita, ne aliquas propter eam suscipiamus molestias? Quid enim interest motu animi sublato non dico inter pecudem et hominem, sed inter hominem et truncum aut saxum aut quidvis generis eiusdem? Neque enim sunt isti audiendi qui virtutem duram et quasi ferream esse quandam volunt; quae quidem est cum multis in rebus, tum in amicitia tenera atque tractabilis, ut et bonis amici quasi diffundatur et incommodis contrahatur. Quam ob rem angor iste, qui pro amico saepe capiendus est, non tantum valet ut tollat e vita amicitiam, non plus quam ut virtutes, quia non nullas curas et molestias adferunt, repudientur. Because of this, if mental anguish happens to the wise man (and it certainly happens, unless we think that humanity is eradicated from his mind), what is the reason why we should take friendship out of life altogether, unless we tend to do something disgusting as a result of it? For without the ability for the mind to be moved, what is the difference -- I don't say between people and animals -- but between people and tree trunks, or rocks, or anything else of this sort? So these people should not be listened to, who want virtue to be something hard like iron - indeed it is with many things, but in friendship it is so soft and flexible, that it practically overflows when good things happen and is crushed by misfortunes. Because of this, that anguish, which must often be exercised for a friend, is not so powerful that it can remove friendship from life, any more than the virtues should be repudiated because they cause more than a little concern and trouble.
Cum autem contrahat amicitiam, ut supra dixi, si qua significatio virtutis eluceat, ad quam se similis animus applicet et adiungat, id cum contigit, amor exoriatur necesse est. But since friendship is pulled together, as I said above, if the significance of one's virtue is illuminated by something to which a similar mind aligns and attaches itself, then, when this happens, love must arise.

49[edit]

Latin English
Quid enim tam absurdum quam delectari multis inanimis rebus, ut honore, ut gloria, ut aedificio, ut vestitu cultuque corporis, animante virtute praedito, eo qui vel amare vel, ut ita dicam, redamare possit, non admodum delectari? Nihil est enim remuneratione benevolentiae, nihil vicissitudine studiorum officiorumque iucundius. For wouldn't it be absurd to be seduced by such inanimate things as honour, glory, construction, and the clothing and maintenance of the body, while not being at all seduced by a living person endowed with virtue, capable either of loving or (as I would say) of reciprocating love? For there is nothing more pleasant than the repayment of goodwill, than the interchange of devotion and favours.

50[edit]

Latin English
Quid si illud etiam addimus, quod recte addi potest, nihil esse quod ad se rem ullam tam alliciat et attrahat quam ad amicitiam similitudo? concedetur profecto verum esse, ut bonos boni diligant adsciscantque sibi quasi propinquitate coniunctos atque natura. Nihil est enim appetentius similium sui nec rapacius quam natura. Quam ob rem hoc quidem, Fanni et Scaevola, constet, ut opinor, bonis inter bonos quasi necessariam benevolentiam, qui est amicitiae fons a natura constitutus. Sed eadem bonitas etiam ad multitudinem pertinet. Non enim est inhumana virtus neque immunis neque superba, quae etiam populos universos tueri iisque optime consulere soleat; quod non faceret profecto, si a caritate vulgi abhorreret. What if we also add that fact (which could rightly be added), that there is nothing which ensnares and attracts anything to itself like similarity does to friendship? It will be granted that it is true that good men value good men and assosciate with them as if they were linked by family ties or birth. For nothing is more eager for things like itself, nor more grasping, than nature. Because of this, indeed, Fannius and Scaevola, it should be clear, in my opinion, that good will, which has been made the source of friendship by nature, is almost unavoidable for the good in their relations with the good. But this same goodness is relevant also to ordinary people. For virtue is not inhuman, nor privileged, nor elite - it regularly touches all people and advises them best, which it would not do, if it shrank from affection for the ordinary man.

51[edit]

Latin English
Atque etiam mihi quidem videntur, qui utilitatum causa fingunt amicitias, amabilissimum nodum amicitiae tollere. Non enim tam utilitas parta per amicum quam amici amor ipse delectat, tumque illud fit, quod ab amico est profectum, iucundum, si cum studio est profectum; tantumque abest, ut amicitiae propter indigentiam colantur, ut ii, qui opibus et copiis maximeque virtute, in qua plurimum est praesidii, minime alterius indigeant, liberalissimi sint et beneficentissimi. Atque haud sciam an ne opus sit quidem nihil umquam omnino deesse amicis. Ubi enim studia nostra viguissent, si numquam consilio, numquam opera nostra nec domi nec militiae Scipio eguisset? Non igitur utilitatem amicitia, sed utilitas amicitiam secuta est. And those who make utility the cause of frienship, also seem to me to remove the most admirable tie of friendship. For it is not so much the utility gained from a friend as the love of the friend itself which pleases us, and moreover something which is done by a friend is delightful only if it is done with enthusiasm; it is totally wrong that friendships are cultivated because of poverty, since those who have wealth and riches and especially virtue (which is the greatest protection) and are least in need of other people are the most generous and charitable. I don't know whether or not it is good for friends to never need anything at all. For where would my affection have bloomed if Scipio had never needed my advice or help at home or at war? Thus friendship does not comes from utility, but utility from friendship.

52[edit]

Latin English
Non ergo erunt homines deliciis diffluentes audiendi, si quando de amicitia, quam nec usu nec ratione habent cognitam, disputabunt. Nam quis est, pro deorum fidem atque hominum! qui velit, ut neque diligat quemquam nec ipse ab ullo diligatur, circumfluere omnibus copiis atque in omnium rerum abundantia vivere? Haec enim est tyrannorum vita nimirum, in qua nulla fides, nulla caritas, nulla stabilis benevolentiae potest esse fiducia, omnia semper suspecta atque sollicita, nullus locus amicitiae. So those people, washed away in luxuries, should not have been listened to when they argued about friendship, which they had neither practical nor theoretical knowledge of. For who is there (by the faith of gods and men!) who would wish, in exchange for giving no one joy and getting no joy from anyone else, to be surrounded with all riches and to live with an abundence of everything? For this is certainly the life of tyrants, in which no trust, no care, no assurance of firm good will can exist, everything is always suspect and uncertain; there is no place for friendship.

53[edit]

Latin English
Quis enim aut eum diligat quem metuat aut eum a quo se metui putet? Coluntur tamen simulatione dumtaxat ad tempus. Quod si forte, ut fit plerumque, ceciderunt, tum intellegitur quam fuerint inopes amicorum. Quod Tarquinium dixisse ferunt, tum exsulantem se intellexisse quos fidos amicos habuisset, quos infidos, cum iam neutris gratiam referre posset. For who could care for someone he feared or someone whom he thought he was feared by? Yet they are flattered by an simulacrum of it, at least for a while. But if by chance - as usually happens - they fall, then it is clear how short of friends they were. Thus it was that Tarquinius said, when he went into exile, that knew then who were his loyal friends and who were disloyal, since he could [no longer] give recompense to either.

54[edit]

Latin English
Quamquam miror, illa superbia et importunitate si quemquam amicum habere potuit. Atque ut huius, quem dixi, mores veros amicos parare non potuerunt, sic multorum opes praepotentium excludunt amicitias fideles. Non enim solum ipsa Fortuna caeca est sed eos etiam plerumque efficit caecos quos complexa est; itaque efferuntur fere fastidio et contumacia nec quicquam insipiente fortunato intolerabilius fieri potest. Atque hoc quidem videre licet, eos qui antea commodis fuerint moribus, imperio, potestate, prosperis rebus immutari, sperni ab iis veteres amicitias, indulgeri novis. However, I am surprised, if he was able to hold onto a single friend with his haughtiness and cruelty. And as the habits of the one I've mentioned could not get him real friends, so the riches of many of the most powerful shut them off from loyal friendship. For not only is Fortune herself blind, but she often makes those whom she embraces blind as well; as a result they are usually carried off by scorn and insolence and no one can become more intolerable than a senseless man who is lucky. And this can be seen, since those who previously had appropriate habits, are changed by authority, power and success, reject old friendships and indulge in new ones.

55[edit]

Latin English
Quid autem stultius quam, cum plurimum copiis, facultatibus, opibus possint, cetera parare, quae parantur pecunia, equos, famulos, vestem egregiam, vasa pretiosa, amicos non parare, optimam et pulcherrimam vitae, ut ita dicam, supellectilem? etenim cetera cum parant, cui parent nesciunt, nec cuius causa laborent. eius enim est istorum quidque, qui vicit viribus), amicitiarum sua cuique permanet stabilis et certa possessio; ut, etiamsi illa maneant, quae sunt quasi dona Fortunae, tamen vita inculta et deserta ab amicis non possit esse iucunda. Sed haec hactenus. But what is stupider than for those whose massive forces, abilities and wealth enable them to acquire the other things which can be acquired with money (horses, servents, fancy clothes, precious vases), to not acquire friends - life's best and most beautiful, so to speak, ornament? In fact when they acquire other things, they don't know who they are acquiring them for, nor whose cause they labour for. For each of these things belongs to one who has succeeded through vigour, while each man's friendships remain his stable and certain possession, so that, as long as they maintain them, they are like gifts of Fortune, while a uncultivated life empty of friends could not be pleasant. But that's enough on that.

56[edit]

Latin English
Constituendi autem sunt qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi. De quibus tres video sententias ferri, quarum nullam probo, unam, ut eodem modo erga amicum adfecti simus, quo erga nosmet ipsos, alteram, ut nostra in amicos benevolentia illorum erga nos benevolentiae pariter aequaliterque respondeat, tertiam, ut, quanti quisque se ipse facit, tanti fiat ab amicis. But it ought to be defined what the limits of friendship are and, as it were, the boundaries of care. About this, I see that three opinions are held, none of which I approve. The first: that we should be disposed towards a friend in the same way that we are disposed towards our own selves. Next, that our good will to friends should respond equally and exactly to their good will towards us. Third: that each man should be valued by his friends as much as he values himself.

57[edit]

Latin English
Harum trium sententiarum nulli prorsus assentior. Nec enim illa prima vera est, ut, quem ad modum in se quisque sit, sic in amicum sit animatus. Quam multa enim, quae nostra causa numquam faceremus, facimus causa amicorum! precari ab indigno, supplicare, tum acerbius in aliquem invehi insectarique vehementius, quae in nostris rebus non satis honeste, in amicorum fiunt honestissime; multaeque res sunt in quibus de suis commodis viri boni multa detrahunt detrahique patiuntur, ut iis amici potius quam ipsi fruantur. I can't agree completely with any of these three opinions. For this first is not true - that one should be disposed to a friend the same way he is to himself. For there are so many things which we would never do for our own sake, that we do for the sake of our friends! To beg an unworthy man, to beseech, also to berate someone too sharply and to castigate them too vehemently, which are not entirely appropriate in our own affairs, are very appropriately done in the affairs of friends; there are many cases in which good men remove a lot from their own goods and allow a lot to be removed so that their friends (rather than they themselves) may enjoy them.

58[edit]

Latin English
Altera sententia est, quae definit amicitiam paribus officiis ac voluntatibus. Hoc quidem est nimis exigue et exiliter ad calculos vocare amicitiam, ut par sit ratio acceptorum et datorum. Divitior mihi et affluentior videtur esse vera amicitia nec observare restricte, ne plus reddat quam acceperit; neque enim verendum est, ne quid excidat, aut ne quid in terram defluat, aut ne plus aequo quid in amicitiam congeratur. The next opinion is the one which defines friendship by equivalent duties and wishes. This is certainly too pettily and feebly urging friendship to accounting stones, so that the number of things accepted and given be equal. It seems to me that true friendship is richer and wealthier and does not strictly ensure that no more is given than received; for there shouldn't be fear that something might be lost, or that something might spill on the ground, or that something might be contributed more than fairly to the friendship.

59[edit]

Latin English
Tertius vero ille finis deterrimus, ut, quanti quisque se ipse faciat, tanti fiat ab amicis. Saepe enim in quibusdam aut animus abiectior est aut spes amplificandae fortunae fractior. Non est igitur amici talem esse in eum qualis ille in se est, sed potius eniti et efficere ut amici iacentem animum excitet inducatque in spem cogitationemque meliorem. Alius igitur finis verae amicitiae constituendus est, si prius, quid maxime reprehendere Scipio solitus sit, dixero. Negabat ullam vocem inimiciorem amicitiae potuisse reperiri quam eius, qui dixisset ita amare oportere, ut si aliquando esset osurus; nec vero se adduci posse, ut hoc, quem ad modum putaretur, a Biante esse dictum crederet, qui sapiens habitus esset unus e septem; impuri cuiusdam aut ambitiosi aut omnia ad suam potentiam revocantis esse sententiam. Quonam enim modo quisquam amicus esse poterit ei, cui se putabit inimicum esse posse? quin etiam necesse erit cupere et optare, ut quam saepissime peccet amicus, quo plures det sibi tamquam ansas ad reprehendendum; rursum autem recte factis commodisque amicorum necesse erit angi, dolere, invidere. The third definition is truly the worst, that each man should be valued by his friends as much as he values himself. For often in these matters, either one's mind is too base or hope of increasing one's fortune is too destructive. So it is not right to be the same to him as he is to himself, but rather one should strive for and ensure that he raises his friend's fallen mind and leads it to better hopes and thoughts. So a different definition of true friendship needs to be marshalled, after I have mentioned something which Scipio used to particularly rebuke. He denied that no saying could be more inimical to friendship than that of the man who said that one ought to love as if one were going to hate later; nor in fact could he be persuaded to believe, as is commonly thought, that this was said by Bias, who is held to have been one of the seven wise men;[47] he thought it was the opinion of someone filthy or ambitious or someone who defined everything for his own power. For how could anyone be a friend to someone whom they could think of as an enemy of themself? For in that case it would be necessary to wish and hope that one's friend would fail as often as possible, in order to give him many grips (as it were) for rebuking him; moreover it would be necessary to be vexed, pained and envious at friends' correct accomplishments and successes.

60[edit]

Latin English
Quare hoc quidem praeceptum, cuiuscumque est, ad tollendam amicitiam valet; illud potius praecipiendum fuit, ut eam diligentiam adhiberemus in amicitiis comparandis, ut ne quando amare inciperemus eum, quem aliquando odisse possemus. Quin etiam si minus felices in diligendo fuissemus, ferendum id Scipio potius quam inimicitiarum tempus cogitandum putabat. So, in fact, this instruction, whoever's it is, supports the abolition of friendship. Instead, this ought to have been instructed: that we should take care in getting into friendships, so that we never begin to love someone, whom we may hate at some point. In fact if we are not so successful in taking this care, Scipio thought it better to put up with it, than to think about creating a situation of emnity.

61[edit]

His igitur finibus utendum arbitror, ut, cum emendati mores amicorum sint, tum sit inter eos omnium rerum, consiliorum, voluntatum sine ulla exceptione communitas, ut, etiamsi qua fortuna acciderit ut minus iustae amicorum voluntates adiuvandae sint, in quibus eorum aut caput agatur aut fama, declinandum de via sit, modo ne summa turpitudo sequatur; est enim quatenus amicitiae dari venia possit. Nec vero neglegenda est fama nec mediocre telum ad res gerendas existimare oportet benevolentiam civium; quam blanditiis et assentando colligere turpe est; virtus, quam sequitur caritas, minime repudianda est.

62[edit]

Sed (saepe enim redeo ad Scipionem, cuius omnis sermo erat de amicitia) querebatur, quod omnibus in rebus homines diligentiores essent; capras et oves quot quisque haberet, dicere posse, amicos quot haberet, non posse dicere et in illis quidem parandis adhibere curam, in amicis eligendis neglegentis esse nec habere quasi signa quaedam et notas, quibus eos qui ad amicitias essent idonei, iudicarent. Sunt igitur firmi et stabiles et constantes eligendi; cuius generis est magna penuria. Et iudicare difficile est sane nisi expertum; experiendum autem est in ipsa amicitia. Ita praecurrit amicitia iudicium tollitque experiendi potestatem.

63[edit]

Est igitur prudentis sustinere ut cursum, sic impetum benevolentiae, quo utamur quasi equis temptatis, sic amicitia ex aliqua parte periclitatis moribus amicorum. Quidam saepe in parva pecunia perspiciuntur quam sint leves, quidam autem, quos parva movere non potuit, cognoscuntur in magna. Sin vero erunt aliqui reperti qui pecuniam praeferre amicitiae sordidum existiment, ubi eos inveniemus, qui honores, magistratus, imperia, potestates, opes amicitiae non anteponant, ut, cum ex altera parte proposita haec sint, ex altera ius amicitiae, non multo illa malint? Imbecilla enim est natura ad contemnendam potentiam; quam etiamsi neglecta amicitia consecuti sint, obscuratum iri arbitrantur, quia non sine magna causa sit neglecta amicitia.

64[edit]

Itaque verae amicitiae difficillime reperiuntur in iis qui in honoribus reque publica versantur; ubi enim istum invenias qui honorem amici anteponat suo? Quid? haec ut omittam, quam graves, quam difficiles plerisque videntur calamitatum societates! ad quas non est facile inventu qui descendant. Quamquam Ennius recte:

Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur, tamen haec duo levitatis et infirmitatis plerosque convincunt, aut si in bonis rebus contemnunt aut in malis deserunt. Qui igitur utraque in re gravem, constantem, stabilem se in amicitia praestiterit, hunc ex maxime raro genere hominum iudicare debemus et paene divino.

65[edit]

Firmamentum autem stabilitatis constantiaeque eius, quam in amicitia quaerimus, fides est; nihil est enim stabile quod infidum est. Simplicem praeterea et communem et consentientem, id est qui rebus isdem moveatur, eligi par est, quae omnia pertinent ad fidelitatem; neque enim fidum potest esse multiplex ingenium et tortuosum, neque vero, qui non isdem rebus movetur naturaque consentit, aut fidus aut stabilis potest esse. Addendum eodem est, ut ne criminibus aut inferendis delectetur aut credat oblatis, quae pertinent omnia ad eam, quam iam dudum tracto, constantiam. Ita fit verum illud, quod initio dixi, amicitiam nisi inter bonos esse non posse. Est enim boni viri, quem eundem sapientem licet dicere, haec duo tenere in amicitia: primum ne quid fictum sit neve simulatum; aperte enim vel odisse magis ingenui est quam fronte occultare sententiam; deinde non solum ab aliquo allatas criminationes repellere, sed ne ipsum quidem esse suspiciosum, semper aliquid existimantem ab amico esse violatum.

66[edit]

Accedat huc suavitas quaedam oportet sermonum atque morum, haudquaquam mediocre condimentum amicitiae. Tristitia autem et in omni re severitas habet illa quidem gravitatem, sed amicitia remissior esse debet et liberior et dulcior et ad omnem comitatem facilitatemque proclivior.

67[edit]

Exsistit autem hoc loco quaedam quaestio subdifficilis, num quando amici novi, digni amicitia, veteribus sint anteponendi, ut equis vetulis teneros anteponere solemus. Indigna homine dubitatio! Non enim debent esse amicitiarum sicut aliarum rerum satietates; veterrima quaeque, ut ea vina, quae vetustatem ferunt, esse debet suavissima; verumque illud est, quod dicitur, multos modios salis simul edendos esse, ut amicitiae munus expletum sit.

68[edit]

Novitates autem si spem adferunt, ut tamquam in herbis non fallacibus fructus appareat, non sunt illae quidem repudiandae, vetustas tamen suo loco conservanda; maxima est enim vis vetustatis et consuetudinis. Quin in ipso equo, cuius modo feci mentionem, si nulla res impediat, nemo est, quin eo, quo consuevit, libentius utatur quam intractato et novo. Nec vero in hoc quod est animal, sed in iis etiam quae sunt inanima, consuetudo valet, cum locis ipsis delectemur, montuosis etiam et silvestribus, in quibus diutius commorati sumus.

69[edit]

Sed maximum est in amicitia parem esse inferiori. Saepe enim excellentiae quaedam sunt, qualis erat Scipionis in nostro, ut ita dicam, grege. Numquam se ille Philo, numquam Rupilio, numquam Mummio anteposuit, numquam inferioris ordinis amicis, Q. vero Maximum fratrem, egregium virum omnino, sibi nequaquam parem, quod is anteibat aetate, tamquam superiorem colebat suosque omnes per se posse esse ampliores volebat.

70[edit]

Quod faciendum imitandumque est omnibus, ut, si quam praestantiam virtutis, ingenii, fortunae consecuti sint, impertiant ea suis communicentque cum proximis, ut, si parentibus nati sint humilibus, si propinquos habeant imbecilliore vel animo vel fortuna, eorum augeant opes eisque honori sint et dignitati. Ut in fabulis, qui aliquamdiu propter ignorationem stirpis et generis in famulatu fuerunt, cum cogniti sunt et aut deorum aut regum filii inventi, retinent tamen caritatem in pastores, quos patres multos annos esse duxerunt. Quod est multo profecto magis in veris patribus certisque faciendum. Fructus enim ingenii et virtutis omnisque praestantiae tum maximus capitur, cum in proximum quemque confertur.

71[edit]

Ut igitur ii qui sunt in amicitiae coniunctionisque necessitudine superiores, exaequare se cum inferioribus debent, sic inferiores non dolere se a suis aut ingenio aut fortuna aut dignitate superari. Quorum plerique aut queruntur semper aliquid aut etiam exprobrant, eoque magis, si habere se putant, quod officiose et amice et cum labore aliquo suo factum queant dicere. Odiosum sane genus hominum officia exprobrantium; quae meminisse debet is in quem conlata sunt, non commemorare, qui contulit.

72[edit]

Quam ob rem ut ii qui superiores sunt submittere se debent in amicitia, sic quodam modo inferiores extollere. Sunt enim quidam qui molestas amicitias faciunt, cum ipsi se contemni putant; quod non fere contingit nisi iis qui etiam contemnendos se arbitrantur; qui hac opinione non modo verbis sed etiam opere levandi sunt.

73[edit]

Tantum autem cuique tribuendum, primum quantum ipse efficere possis, deinde etiam quantum ille quem diligas atque adiuves, sustinere. Non enim neque tu possis, quamvis excellas, omnes tuos ad honores amplissimos perducere, ut Scipio P. Rupilium potuit consulem efficere, fratrem eius L. non potuit. Quod si etiam possis quidvis deferre ad alterum, videndum est tamen, quid ille possit sustinere.

74[edit]

Omnino amicitiae corroboratis iam confirmatisque et ingeniis et aetatibus iudicandae sunt, nec si qui ineunte aetate venandi aut pilae studiosi fuerunt, eos habere necessarios quos tum eodem studio praeditos dilexerunt. Isto enim modo nutrices et paedagogi iure vetustatis plurimum benevolentiae postulabunt; qui neglegendi quidem non sunt sed alio quodam modo aestimandi. Aliter amicitiae stabiles permanere non possunt. Dispares enim mores disparia studia sequuntur, quorum dissimilitudo dissociat amicitias; nec ob aliam causam ullam boni improbis, improbi bonis amici esse non possunt, nisi quod tanta est inter eos, quanta maxima potest esse, morum studiorumque distantia.

75[edit]

Recte etiam praecipi potest in amicitiis, ne intemperata quaedam benevolentia, quod persaepe fit, impediat magnas utilitates amicorum. Nec enim, ut ad fabulas redeam, Troiam Neoptolemus capere potuisset, si Lycomedem, apud quem erat educatus, multis cum lacrimis iter suum impedientem audire voluisset. Et saepe incidunt magnae res, ut discedendum sit ab amicis; quas qui impedire vult, quod desiderium non facile ferat, is et infirmus est mollisque natura et ob eam ipsam causam in amicitia parum iustus.

76[edit]

Atque in omni re considerandum est et quid postules ab amico et quid patiare a te impetrari.

Est etiam quaedam calamitas in amicitiis dimittendis non numquam necessaria; iam enim a sapientium familiaritatibus ad vulgares amicitias oratio nostra delabitur. Erumpunt saepe vitia amicorum tum in ipsos amicos, tum in alienos, quorum tamen ad amicos redundet infamia. Tales igitur amicitiae sunt remissione usus eluendae et, ut Catonem dicere audivi, dissuendae magis quam discindendae, nisi quaedam admodum intolerabilis iniuria exarserit, ut neque rectum neque honestum sit nec fieri possit, ut non statim alienatio disiunctioque faciunda sit.

77[edit]

Sin autem aut morum aut studiorum commutatio quaedam, ut fieri solet, facta erit aut in rei publicae partibus dissensio intercesserit (loquor enim iam, ut paulo ante dixi, non de sapientium sed de communibus amicitiis), cavendum erit, ne non solum amicitiae depositae, sed etiam inimicitiae susceptae videantur. Nihil est enim turpius quam cum eo bellum gerere quocum familiariter vixeris. Ab amicitia Q. Pompei meo nomine se removerat, ut scitis, Scipio; propter dissensionem autem, quae erat in re publica, alienatus est a collega nostro Metello; utrumque egit graviter, auctoritate et offensione animi non acerba.

78[edit]

Quam ob rem primum danda opera est ne qua amicorum discidia fiant; sin tale aliquid evenerit, ut exstinctae potius amicitiae quam oppressae videantur. Cavendum vero ne etiam in graves inimicitias convertant se amicitiae; ex quibus iurgia, maledicta, contumeliae gignuntur. Quae tamen si tolerabiles erunt, ferendae sunt, et hic honos veteri amicitiae tribuendus, ut is in culpa sit qui faciat, non is qui patiatur iniuriam.

Omnino omnium horum vitiorum atque incommodorum una cautio est atque una provisio, ut ne nimis cito diligere incipiant neve non dignos.

79[edit]

Digni autem sunt amicitia quibus in ipsis inest causa cur diligantur. Rarum genus. Et quidem omnia praeclara rara, nec quicquam difficilius quam reperire quod sit omni ex parte in suo genere perfectum. Sed plerique neque in rebus humanis quicquam bonum norunt, nisi quod fructuosum sit, et amicos tamquam pecudes eos potissimum diligunt ex quibus sperant se maximum fructum esse capturos.

80[edit]

Ita pulcherrima illa et maxime naturali carent amicitia per se et propter se expetita nec ipsi sibi exemplo sunt, haec vis amicitiae et qualis et quanta sit. Ipse enim se quisque diligit, non ut aliquam a se ipse mercedem exigat caritatis suae, sed quod per se sibi quisque carus est. Quod nisi idem in amicitiam transferetur, verus amicus numquam reperietur; est enim is qui est tamquam alter idem.

81[edit]

Quod si hoc apparet in bestiis, volucribus, nantibus, agrestibus, cicuribus, feris, primum ut se ipsae diligant (id enim pariter cum omni animante nascitur), deinde ut requirant atque appetant ad quas se applicent eiusdem generis animantis, idque faciunt cum desiderio et cum quadam similitudine amoris humani, quanto id magis in homine fit natura! qui et se ipse diligit et alterum anquirit, cuius animum ita cum suo misceat ut efficiat paene unum ex duobus.

82[edit]

Sed plerique perverse, ne dicam impudenter, habere talem amicum volunt, quales ipsi esse non possunt, quaeque ipsi non tribuunt amicis, haec ab iis desiderant. Par est autem primum ipsum esse virum bonum, tum alterum similem sui quaerere. In talibus ea, quam iam dudum tractamus, stabilitas amicitiae confirmari potest, cum homines benevolentia coniuncti primum cupiditatibus iis quibus ceteri serviunt imperabunt, deinde aequitate iustitiaque gaudebunt, omniaque alter pro altero suscipiet, neque quicquam umquam nisi honestum et rectum alter ab altero postulabit, neque solum colent inter se ac diligent sed etiam verebuntur. Nam maximum ornamentum amicitiae tollit qui ex ea tollit verecundiam.

83[edit]

Itaque in iis perniciosus est error qui existimant libidinum peccatorumque omnium patere in amicitia licentiam; virtutum amicitia adiutrix a natura data est, non vitiorum comes, ut, quoniam solitaria non posset virtus ad ea, quae summa sunt, pervenire, coniuncta et consociata cum altera perveniret. Quae si quos inter societas aut est aut fuit aut futura est, eorum est habendus ad summum naturae bonum optumus beatissimusque comitatus.

84[edit]

Haec est, inquam, societas, in qua omnia insunt, quae putant homines expetenda, honestas, gloria, tranquillitas animi atque iucunditas, ut et, cum haec adsint, beata vita sit et sine his esse non possit. Quod cum optimum maximumque sit, si id volumus adipisci, virtuti opera danda est, sine qua nec amicitiam neque ullam rem expetendam consequi possumus; ea vero neglecta qui se amicos habere arbitrantur, tum se denique errasse sentiunt, cum eos gravis aliquis casus experiri cogit.

85[edit]

Quocirca (dicendum est enim saepius), cum iudicaris, diligere oportet, non, cum dilexeris, iudicare. Sed cum multis in rebus neglegentia plectimur, tum maxime in amicis et diligendis et colendis; praeposteris enim utimur consiliis et acta agimus, quod vetamur vetere proverbio. Nam implicati ultro et citro vel usu diuturno vel etiam officiis repente in medio cursu amicitias exorta aliqua offensione disrumpimus.

86[edit]

Quo etiam magis vituperanda est rei maxime necessariae tanta incuria. Una est enim amicitia in rebus humanis, de cuius utilitate omnes uno ore consentiunt. Quamquam a multis virtus ipsa contemnitur et venditatio quaedam atque ostentatio esse dicitur; multi divitias despiciunt, quos parvo contentos tenuis victus cultusque delectat; honores vero, quorum cupiditate quidam inflammantur, quam multi ita contemnunt, ut nihil inanius, nihil esse levius existiment! itemque cetera, quae quibusdam admirabilia videntur, permulti sunt qui pro nihilo putent; de amicitia omnes ad unum idem sentiunt, et ii qui ad rem publicam se contulerunt, et ii qui rerum cognitione doctrinaque delectantur, et ii qui suum negotium gerunt otiosi, postremo ii qui se totos tradiderunt voluptatibus, sine amicitia vitam esse nullam, si modo velint aliqua ex parte liberaliter vivere.

87[edit]

Serpit enim nescio quo modo per omnium vitas amicitia nec ullam aetatis degendae rationem patitur esse expertem sui. Quin etiam si quis asperitate ea est et immanitate naturae, congressus ut hominum fugiat atque oderit, qualem fuisse Athenis Timonem nescio quem accepimus, tamen is pati non possit, ut non anquirat aliquem, apud quem evomat virus acerbitatis suae. Atque hoc maxime iudicaretur, si quid tale posset contingere, ut aliquis nos deus ex hac hominum frequentia tolleret et in solitudine uspiam collocaret atque ibi suppeditans omnium rerum, quas natura desiderat, abundantiam et copiam hominis omnino aspiciendi potestatem eriperet. Quis tam esset ferreus qui eam vitam ferre posset, cuique non auferret fructum voluptatum omnium solitudo?

88[edit]

Verum ergo illud est quod a Tarentino Archyta, ut opinor, dici solitum nostros senes commemorare audivi ab aliis senibus auditum: 'si quis in caelum ascendisset naturamque mundi et pulchritudinem siderum perspexisset, insuavem illam admirationem ei fore; quae iucundissima fuisset, si aliquem, cui narraret, habuisset.' Sic natura solitarium nihil amat semperque ad aliquod tamquam adminiculum adnititur; quod in amicissimo quoque dulcissimum est.

Sed cum tot signis eadem natura declaret, quid velit, anquirat, desideret, tamen obsurdescimus nescio quo modo nec ea, quae ab ea monemur, audimus. Est enim varius et multiplex usus amicitiae, multaeque causae suspicionum offensionumque dantur, quas tum evitare, tum elevare, tum ferre sapientis est; una illa sublevanda offensio est, ut et utilitas in amicitia et fides retineatur: nam et monendi amici saepe sunt et obiurgandi, et haec accipienda amice, cum benevole fiunt.

89[edit]

Sed nescio quo modo verum est, quod in Andria familiaris meus dicit:

Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit. Molesta veritas, siquidem ex ea nascitur odium, quod est venenum amicitiae, sed obsequium multo molestius, quod peccatis indulgens praecipitem amicum ferri sinit; maxima autem culpa in eo, qui et veritatem aspernatur et in fraudem obsequio impellitur. Omni igitur hac in re habenda ratio et diligentia est, primum ut monitio acerbitate, deinde ut obiurgatio contumelia careat; in obsequio autem, quoniam Terentiano verbo libenter utimur, comitas adsit, assentatio, vitiorum adiutrix, procul amoveatur, quae non modo amico, sed ne libero quidem digna est; aliter enim cum tyranno, aliter cum amico vivitur.

90[edit]

Cuius autem aures clausae veritati sunt, ut ab amico verum audire nequeat, huius salus desperanda est. Scitum est enim illud Catonis, ut multa: 'melius de quibusdam acerbos inimicos mereri quam eos amicos qui dulces videantur; illos verum saepe dicere, hos numquam.' Atque illud absurdum, quod ii, qui monentur, eam molestiam quam debent capere non capiunt, eam capiunt qua debent vacare; peccasse enim se non anguntur, obiurgari moleste ferunt; quod contra oportebat, delicto dolere, correctione gaudere.

91[edit]

Ut igitur et monere et moneri proprium est verae amicitiae et alterum libere facere, non aspere, alterum patienter accipere, non repugnanter, sic habendum est nullam in amicitiis pestem esse maiorem quam adulationem, blanditiam, assentationem; quamvis enim multis nominibus est hoc vitium notandum levium hominum atque fallacium ad voluntatem loquentium omnia, nihil ad veritatem.

92[edit]

Cum autem omnium rerum simulatio vitiosa est (tollit enim iudicium veri idque adulterat), tum amicitiae repugnat maxime; delet enim veritatem, sine qua nomen amicitiae valere non potest. Nam cum amicitiae vis sit in eo, ut unus quasi animus fiat ex pluribus, qui id fieri poterit, si ne in uno quidem quoque unus animus erit idemque semper, sed varius, commutabilis, multiplex?

93[edit]

Quid enim potest esse tam flexibile, tam devium quam animus eius qui ad alterius non modo sensum ac voluntatem sed etiam vultum atque nutum convertitur?

Negat quis, nego; ait, aio; postremo imperavi egomet mihi Omnia adsentari, ut ait idem Terentius, sed ille in Gnathonis persona, quod amici genus adhibere omnino levitatis est.

94[edit]

Multi autem Gnathonum similes cum sint loco, fortuna, fama superiores, horum est assentatio molesta, cum ad vanitatem accessit auctoritas.

95[edit]

Secerni autem blandus amicus a vero et internosci tam potest adhibita diligentia quam omnia fucata et simulata a sinceris atque veris. Contio, quae ex imperitissimis constat, tamen iudicare solet quid intersit inter popularem, id est assentatorem et levem civem, et inter constantem et severum et gravem.

96[edit]

Quibus blanditiis C. Papirius nuper influebat in auris contionis, cum ferret legem de tribunis plebis reficiendis! Dissuasimus nos; sed nihil de me, de Scipione dicam libentius. Quanta illi, di immortales, fuit gravitas, quanta in oratione maiestas! ut facile ducem populi Romani, non comitem diceres. Sed adfuistis, et est in manibus oratio. Itaque lex popularis suffragiis populi repudiata est. Atque, ut ad me redeam, meministis, Q. Maximo, fratre Scipionis, et L. Mancino consulibus, quam popularis lex de sacerdotiis C. Licini Crassi videbatur! cooptatio enim collegiorum ad populi beneficium transferebatur; atque is primus instituit in forum versus agere cum populo. Tamen illius vendibilem orationem religio deorum immortalium nobis defendentibus facile vincebat. Atque id actum est praetore me quinquennio ante quam consul sum factus; ita re magis quam summa auctoritate causa illa defensa est.

97[edit]

Quod si in scaena, id est in contione, in qua rebus fictis et adumbratis loci plurimum est, tamen verum valet, si modo id patefactum et illustratum est, quid in amicitia fieri oportet, quae tota veritate perpenditur? in qua nisi, ut dicitur, apertum pectus videas tuumque ostendas, nihil fidum, nihil exploratum habeas, ne amare quidem aut amari, cum, id quam vere fiat, ignores. Quamquam ista assentatio, quamvis perniciosa sit, nocere tamen nemini potest nisi ei qui eam recipit atque ea delectatur. Ita fit, ut is assentatoribus patefaciat aures suas maxime, qui ipse sibi assentetur et se maxime ipse delectet.

98[edit]

Omnino est amans sui virtus; optime enim se ipsa novit, quamque amabilis sit, intellegit. Ego autem non de virtute nunc loquor sed de virtutis opinione. Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt. Hos delectat assentatio, his fictus ad ipsorum voluntatem sermo cum adhibetur, orationem illam vanam testimonium esse laudum suarum putant. Nulla est igitur haec amicitia, cum alter verum audire non vult, alter ad mentiendum paratus est. Nec parasitorum in comoediis assentatio faceta nobis videretur, nisi essent milites gloriosi.

Magnas vero agere gratias Thais mihi? Satis erat respondere: 'magnas'; 'ingentes' inquit. Semper auget assentator id, quod is cuius ad voluntatem dicitur vult esse magnum.

99[edit]

Quam ob rem, quamquam blanda ista vanitas apud eos valet qui ipsi illam allectant et invitant, tamen etiam graviores constantioresque admonendi sunt, ut animadvertant, ne callida assentatione capiantur. Aperte enim adulantem nemo non videt, nisi qui admodum est excors; callidus ille et occultus ne se insinuet, studiose cavendum est; nec enim facillime agnoscitur, quippe qui etiam adversando saepe assentetur et litigare se simulans blandiatur atque ad extremum det manus vincique se patiatur, ut is qui illusus sit plus vidisse videatur. Quid autem turpius quam illudi? Quod ut ne accidat, magis cavendum est.

Ut me hodie ante omnes comicos stultos senes Versaris atque inlusseris lautissume.

100[edit]

Haec enim etiam in fabulis stultissima persona est improvidorum et credulorum senum. Sed nescio quo pacto ab amicitiis perfectorum hominum, id est sapientium (de hac dico sapientia, quae videtur in hominem cadere posse), ad leves amicitias defluxit oratio. Quam ob rem ad illa prima redeamus eaque ipsa concludamus aliquando. Virtus, virtus, inquam, C. Fanni, et tu, Q. Muci, et conciliat amicitias et conservat. In ea est enim convenientia rerum, in ea stabilitas, in ea constantia; quae cum se extulit et ostendit suum lumen et idem aspexit agnovitque in alio, ad id se admovet vicissimque accipit illud, quod in altero est; ex quo exardescit sive amor sive amicitia; utrumque enim dictum est ab amando; amare autem nihil est aliud nisi eum ipsum diligere, quem ames, nulla indigentia, nulla utilitate quaesita; quae tamen ipsa efflorescit ex amicitia, etiamsi tu eam minus secutus sis.

101[edit]

Hac nos adulescentes benevolentia senes illos, L. Paulum, M. Catonem, C. Galum, P. Nasicam, Ti. Gracchum, Scipionis nostri socerum, dileximus, haec etiam magis elucet inter aequales, ut inter me et Scipionem, L. Furium, P. Rupilium, Sp. Mummium. Vicissim autem senes in adulescentium caritate acquiescimus, ut in vestra, ut in Q. Tuberonis; equidem etiam admodum adulescentis P. Rutili, A. Vergini familiaritate delector. Quoniamque ita ratio comparata est vitae naturaeque nostrae, ut alia ex alia aetas oriatur, maxime quidem optandum est, ut cum aequalibus possis, quibuscum tamquam e carceribus emissus sis, cum isdem ad calcem, ut dicitur, pervenire.

102[edit]

Sed quoniam res humanae fragiles caducaeque sunt, semper aliqui anquirendi sunt quos diligamus et a quibus diligamur; caritate enim benevolentiaque sublata omnis est e vita sublata iucunditas. Mihi quidem Scipio, quamquam est subito ereptus, vivit tamen semperque vivet; virtutem enim amavi illius viri, quae exstincta non est; nec mihi soli versatur ante oculos, qui illam semper in manibus habui, sed etiam posteris erit clara et insignis. Nemo umquam animo aut spe maiora suscipiet, qui sibi non illius memoriam atque imaginem proponendam putet.

103[edit]

Equidem ex omnibus rebus quas mihi aut fortuna aut natura tribuit, nihil habeo quod cum amicitia Scipionis possim comparare. In hac mihi de re publica consensus, in hac rerum privatarum consilium, in eadem requies plena oblectationis fuit. Numquam illum ne minima quidem re offendi, quod quidem senserim, nihil audivi ex eo ipse quod nollem; una domus erat, idem victus, isque communis, neque solum militia, sed etiam peregrinationes rusticationesque communes.

104[edit]

Nam quid ego de studiis dicam cognoscendi semper aliquid atque discendi? in quibus remoti ab oculis populi omne otiosum tempus contrivimus. Quarum rerum recordatio et memoria si una cum illo occidisset, desiderium coniunctissimi atque amantissimi viri ferre nullo modo possem. Sed nec illa exstincta sunt alunturque potius et augentur cogitatione et memoria mea, et si illis plane orbatus essem, magnum tamen adfert mihi aetas ipsa solacium. Diutius enim iam in hoc desiderio esse non possum. Omnia autem brevia tolerabilia esse debent, etiamsi magna sunt.

Haec habui de amicitia quae dicerem. Vos autem hortor ut ita virtutem locetis, sine qua amicitia esse non potest, ut ea excepta nihil amicitia praestabilius putetis.

Notes[edit]

  1. w:Quintus Mucius Scaevola Augur, whom Cicero will otherwise refer to in this work by his cognomen Scaevola ("left-handed, silly"
  2. w:Gaius Laelius Sapiens
  3. That is, "Quintus Mucius Augur"
  4. 4.0 4.1 When Roman boys reached adulthood they exchanged the w:toga praetexta ("bordered toga") for the w:toga virilis ("toga of manhood"), in a public coming of age ritual. They continued to wear the toga virilis on formal occasions thereafter unless they achieved civic office.
  5. w:Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex
  6. w:Titus Pomponius Atticus, a learned member of Rome's intelligentsia and close friend of Cicero's. The entire dialogue is dedicated to him
  7. w:Quintus Pompeius was consul in 88 BC. When war broke out with w:Mithridates, w:Sulla was appointed to command over the war. w:Publius Sulpicius Rufus used his position to attempt to overturn this appointment in favour of Sulla's rival w:Gaius Marius. This led to a constitutional crisis, widespread riots, and eventually civil war. See w:Sulla's first civil war.
  8. w:Gaius Fannius
  9. w:Scipio Aemilianus, the famous Roman general who destroyed Carthage in the Third Punic War
  10. i.e. w: Socrates
  11. i.e. the w:Oracle of Delphi
  12. Day of the month, 8 days before the Ides, so either the 5th or 7th
  13. w:Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus
  14. w:augury: a method of predicting the future by birdwatching. As Scaevola's nickname "Augur" suggests, he was a member of the group of priests whose job it was to conduct and report the augury.
  15. see w:humanitas
  16. To hold the consulship "in one's time" was to be elected to it at age forty one, the minimum age at which one to run for the office (by custom in Scipio's time and by law in Cicero's time). Scipio held his first consulship in 205 BC when he was 31 and his second in 194 when he was 42
  17. A reference to Cato Maior
  18. Scipio denounced Gaius Papirius Carbo in the Senate and was found mysteriously dead the next morning. Cicero Ad Familiares IX.21.3 accuses Carbo, Plutarch Life of Gaius Gracchus 10 adds several other suspects.
  19. i.e. the senators
  20. Magna Graecia was the part of southern Italy occupied by Greeks. It was especially associated with the w:Pythagoreans, who had highly developed notions about life after death.
  21. Socrates
  22. literally: I don't cut this to the life, i.e. I don't cut so deep that the thing being cut dies
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 w:Quintus Aemilius Papus, w:Gaius Fabricius Luscinus, w:Manius Curius Dentatus, and w:Tiberius Coruncanius were prominent generals of the Roman Republic in the early third century BC, famous for their military prowess and refusal to accept bribes or desire luxury
  24. w:Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom - akin to the Greek goddess w:Athena. Apparently this is a proverb meaning "according to common sense."
  25. w:Ennius wrote the first epic poem in Latin. Only a few freagments remain now, but it occupied a similar position as a source of wisdom within elite Roman circles as the works of w:Homer did in Greece.
  26. i.e. it is proverbial that we use water and fire a lot for lots of different things, but we don't use them as much as friendship
  27. cultus means both "maintenance" and "civilization", so the sense is that civilization would not remain even in its smallest, most remote and most basic form
  28. w:Empedocles from w:Agrigentum, modern w:Agrigento on the southern coast of Sicily
  29. The scene is from w:Pacuvius' lost play Orestes. w:Orestes's father King w:Agamemnon had been killed by his wife w:Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Orestes returns to Argos with his servant Pylades to get vengeance on his mother and Aegisthus and reclaim his kingdom.
  30. i.e. the Greek philosophers mentioned at 17
  31. A reference to Cicero's On the Republic, which does however include Fannius as a participant.
  32. w:Lucius Furius Philus, Consul of 136 BC and friend of Scipio
  33. In Latin, the word for love is amor and the word for friendship is amicitia
  34. w:Tarquinius Superbus was the last King of Rome and a famous tyrant. According to legend, he was expelled from Rome at the end of the sixth century BC.
  35. 35.0 35.1 w:Spurius Cassius Viscellinus and w:Spurius Maelius were distinguished leaders of the early Roman Republic in the fifth century BC, both of whom were killed for attempting to make themselves kings
  36. w:Pyrrhus of Epirus invaded Italy in the 270s BC as part of the w:Pyrrhic Wars; w:Hannibal campaigned in Italy between 218 and 204 BC during the w:Second Punic War. It was Hannibal who had the Romans eternal hatred.
  37. "By Hercules!" was a standard exclamation of ancient Greek and Roman men, equivalent to English "by God." Women usually swore by Ceres (in Greek, Demeter) and/or her daugher Proserpina (Persephone) instead.
  38. 38.0 38.1 w:Gaius Marcius Coriolanus was, according to legend, a leader of the Roman Republic in the 5th century BC who was exiled from Rome and led an army of the Volsi against it. At his mother's request he agreed not to conquer Rome and the Volsi killed him for this treachery.
  39. w:Tiberius Gracchus was a populist leader in the second century BC, who used direct appeals to the people and constitutional technicalities to push through a policy of land reform. This led to civil violence and his death in 133 BC. w:Quintus Aelius Tubero was a stoic philosopher around the same time. Laenas and Rupilius were the consuls for 132 BC
  40. The Temple of w:Jupiter Optimus Maximus on top of the w:Capitoline Hill, the chief temple of Rome
  41. The w:province of Asia - that is western Turkey
  42. Literally, "whom shared life has known"
  43. i.e. the good customs of the ancestors are no longer at the centre of civic life
  44. impietas - the reverse of w:pietas: loyalty, obedience, reverence for authority.
  45. w:Themistocles was the Athenian general responsible for the naval victory over the invading Persians at the w:Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. In 471 BC he was suspected of aiming to become a dictator and had to flee into exile. According to the version of the story that Cicero follows here, he eventually committed suicide by drinking bull's blood.
  46. i.e. committed suicide.
  47. w:Bias of Prience was one of the w:Seven Sages of Greece, seven semi-legendery wise men who lived in the 6th century BC
edit AP Latin Syllabus
Vergil: Aeneid Book 1 (lines 1-519), Book 2 (lines 1-56, 199-297, 469-566, 735-804), Book 4 (lines 1-448, 642-705), Book 6 (lines 1-211, 450-476, 847-901), Book 10 (lines 420-509), Book 12 (lines 791-842, 887-952)
Catullus: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (6), 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14a, 16, (21), 22, 30, 31, (34), 35, 36, 39, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 79, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 92, 93, 96, 101, 107, 109, 116.
Cicero: Pro Archia Poeta; De Amicitia 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104; Pro Caelio 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 41, 42, 43, 47, 48, 49, 50, 56, 57, 58, 61, 62, 63, 66, 67, 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80
Horace: Sermones 1.9; Odes 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 1.11, 1.13, 1.22, 1.23, 1.24, 1.25, 1.37, 1.38, 2.3, 2.7, 2.10, 2.14, 3.1, 3.9, 3.13, 3.30, 4.7
Ovid: Daphne and Apollo, Pyramus and Thisbe, Daedalus and Icarus, Baucis and Philemon, Pygmalion; Amores 1.1, (1.2), 1.3, (1.4), (1.5), (1.6), (1.7), 1.9, 1.11, 1.12, (1.14), (1.15), 3.15

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 

This work is in the public domain worldwide because it has been so released by the author.